‘Westworld’s Sexually Explicit Casting Contract has Extras Feeling Uncomfortable

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HBO is known for pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate on television. But the contracts sent to background actors seeking work on Westworld are definitely something else. According to THR the contract states that actors “may be required to perform genital-to-genital touching, simulate oral sex with hand-to-genital touching, contort to form a table-like shape while being fully nude, pose on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back, [and] ride on someone’s back while you are both fully nude.”

Um… I’ve seen the original Westworld many times, and I don’t remember James Brolin and Richard Benjamin touching dicks with Yul Brynner. We knew from the teaser released last August that the show would be a different beast, but the “Beast With Two Backs” (Google it. Or don’t. Probably don’t)  is certainly not the direction I saw them going.

Nudity and sex consent forms are nothing new, but this particular contract has SAG-AFTRA officials a bit concerned. HBO issued a statement disavowing the document and many of its details:

“The document that the background actors were given was created by an outside extras casting vendor. It was not requested, written or approved by HBO, Warner Bros. Television, or the producers, and contains situations that we do not require of any actor. We are rectifying immediately the discrepancies in this vendor’s document with our actual on-set practices, which provide a professional and comfortable working environment for all performers.”

And though HBO did speak out, SAG-AFTRA is concerned that it took them this long, stating:

“SAG-AFTRA sent the consent form to HBO yesterday afternoon and requested that the document be changed to more accurately reflect the contractual provisions. HBO had every opportunity to rectify this situation and it was only after their direct refusal to remedy this that we posted the notice on our website. The Union is very pleased to hear that HBO is doing the right thing now, but it is disappointing that we had to take such public measures to ensure compliance with our contracts and protect our background actors.”

The shoot takes place on Wednesday, and a SAG-AFTRA representative will be present to make sure the actors don’t have to do anything they are uncomfortable with.

And here’s the trailer for those of you who missed it, or want to take another look after this news.

Westworld hits HBO in 2016, and stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Evan Rachel Wood.

 

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