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Sean Bean Getty 1.jpg

Various Actresses Speak Up After Sean Bean Derides Need for Intimacy Coordinators on Set

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | August 9, 2022 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | August 9, 2022 |


Sean Bean Getty 1.jpg

Sean Bean recently gave an interview wherein he said that intimacy coordinators ‘spoil the spontaneity’ of sex scenes in film and TV. He told the Sunday Times magazine, ‘I think the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise. It would inhibit me more because it’s drawing attention to things.’ This comment did not go down well with a lot of people, mainly women in the industry. Gee, I can’t imagine why.

Rachel Zegler from West Side Story tweeted that ‘intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors.’ She expressed her gratitude to the coordinator she had on-set of her debut, wherein she shot love scenes with then-25-year-old Ansel Elgort when she was only 17.

Jameela Jamil responded to a Variety tweet on the story by noting that sex scenes should be technical because it’s their job and ‘nobody wants an impromptu grope.’

The strongest response came from someone who Bean named in his interview, his Snowpiercer co-star Lena Hall.

As an example of his opposition to intimacy coordinators, Bean referenced an unusual scene from the second season of the series wherein he and Hall’s characters are intimate with the aid of a mango. Bean said, ‘I think they cut a bit out actually. Often the best work you do, where you’re trying to push the boundaries, and the very nature of it is experimental, gets censored when TV companies or the advertisers say it’s so much.’ When noted that intimacy coordinators were a response to the revelations of #MeToo and were designed to keep actresses safe, Bean replied, ‘I suppose it depends on the actress. This one [Hall] had a musical cabaret background, so she was up for anything.’ Yikes.

This led Hall to write a Twitter thread where, while she emphasized her enjoyment of working with Bean, she noted that her experience in theater did not mean she was ‘up for anything.’

The opposition to intimacy co-ordinators, which seems to almost exclusively come from men, only further highlights why we need them so much in the first place. The bemoaning of a lack of spontaneity in such scenes overlooks the ways that abuse on film and TV sets became so horribly commonplace. Sex scenes are deeply intimate, awkward as all hell, and tough to film. Making that process as easy and clinical as possible matters. It’s not actual f**king and nor should it be treated as such. Imagine hearing an actor complain that fight choreography robbed an action scene of its spontaneity.

Frank Langella was recently let go from a major TV series over his refusal to follow the instructions of an intimacy coordinator. He tried to claim he was a victim of ‘cancel culture’ (ugh) because he touched an actress in a way that she had not asked for during such a scene. This isn’t a seduction IRL, you absolute ghouls. It’s your job to pretend! This crap is cut from the same cloth as the faux-method d*cks who think that there is worthiness in self-flagellation.

The way we treat actresses who do sex scenes is already bad enough. They’re shamed, leered at, slapped onto porn sites, and asked about it endlessly by creeps who don’t know when to stop. The tatty tabloids still love to make a huge deal out of an actress getting nude for a role, torn between shaming them and objectifying them. And that barely covers the reason that intimacy coordinators became commonplace to begin with: Women kept getting groped and harassed by sh*tty co-stars who thought it was their right to touch them wherever they wanted! This shouldn’t be considered a normal part of any job. If Sean Bean is sad that it means he doesn’t get to let his hands wander now and then, so be it.



Kayleigh is a features writer and editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.



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