Jesse Williams has responded to leaked photos and video of his Take Me Out performance.
Earlier this week, stills and snippets from the actor's nude scene in the Broadway play surfaced and began to circulate online, mere hours after Williams was nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play." And though the NSFW images have caused quite the stir, it seems as if the former Grey's Anatomy star isn't all too bothered by the incident, if a brand new interview is any indication.
On Tuesday, Williams appeared alongside Take Me Out co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Watch What Happens Live's After Show. Given the timing of the episode though, host Andy Cohen asked Williams how he felt about the leak and subsequent chatter, which led him to respond, "It's a body, once you see it, you realize it's whatever, it's a body!"
"I just have to make it not that big of a deal," Williams continued, before Cohen asked whether something like this is "much better when you feel good about your penis.” And Williams' response?
“I would imagine so. I don’t, so I don’t know,” he joked. “I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding.”
Granted, Williams previously told Page Six that he was "terrified" to do the nude scene, though he went on too say he was eventually able to conquer his fear down the line.
'"Then I noted that that was what I asked God for. I asked to be terrified," Williams — who plays a gay baseball player in the play — told the outlet at the time. "I asked to do something that was scary and challenging and made me earn it and made me feel alive and not comfortable.""
However, it should be noted thatTake Me Out features other nude actors and requires audience members at Second Stage's Hayes Theater to put their phones in a locked pouch prior to the show "out of respect and support for our actors." Not only that, but the Actors' Equity Association has also since issued a statement condemning the leak as "sexual harassment" and a "breach of consent," with president Kate Shindle writing, "As actors, we regularly agree to be vulnerable onstage in order to tell difficult and challenging stories."
Shindle added, "[But] this does not mean that we agree to have those vulnerable moments widely shared by anyone who feels like sneaking a recording device into the theater."
Watch Williams talk about the leak below.
Photo via Getty / Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic
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