Does Peak TV have a sex-scene problem?
The accusation that SMILF creator, star and first-time showrunner Frankie Shaw mishandled sex scenes raises the question of how TV producers are being trained to handle the delicate shoots, especially in the #MeToo era. "Regardless of what happened in that instance, it’s clear that TV makers are increasingly finding themselves in fraught territory when it comes to sex scenes," says Joy Press. "Show-runners are often writers who have risen up through the ranks—great with words and ideas, sure, but not trained or equipped to wrangle an enormous staff. In the peak-TV era, there are more novices running shows than ever before." Press points to The Deuce hiring an "intimacy coordinator," which HBO is expanding to all of its shows. Still, TV producers like former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazarra worry that intimacy coordinators will absolve showrunners of their job overseeing every aspect of a production. “I worry that the hiring of an intimacy coordinator will allow writers and directors to pass the buck,” he says. “Isn’t it a shame that we have to create a new role because actors are not comfortable having those conversations with their show-runners? Because their show-runners have not made the effort, for the most part, to reach out and make the actors comfortable? It’s a failure of leadership among show-runners and directors and producers.”
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- Showtime cancels SMILF after two seasons amid misconduct investigation into Frankie Shaw
- SMILF's off-camera #MeToo-related problems are hard to ignore in Season 2
- SMILF may lose its Massachusetts tax credits after lawmakers call for an investigation into on-set misconduct