Australian actor Samara Weaving has left US show SMILF after a dispute with the show’s creator and lead actor, Frankie Shaw, over inappropriately handled sex scenes.
According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the 26-year-old has alleged breach of contract after Shaw instructed outside video monitors to be turned on during the filming of a sex scene while the set was supposed to be closed, meaning only limited crew present and outside monitors off.
“It was completely unprofessional,” script supervisor Kristin Calabrese told HTR. “They should have made it known immediately to our actors and our director. I know there were past incidents that led up to this being such a sensitive situation, but on any show, if an actor is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable with something, it’s our responsibility to make them feel safe.”
Previously, Weaving had allegedly been asked to perform a sex scene naked with 40 minutes’ notice despite having a no nudity clause in her contract. When she opposed, Shaw “pulled her into a trailer” and “yanked off her own top and demanded to know why Weaving had a problem being nude when Shaw had no such concerns”, HTR says.
Weaving reported the incidents to show executives at Showtime, Disney’s ABC Signature Studios and the Screen Actors Guild. She also shared her grievances with co-star Rosie O’Donnell who raised the issue with bosses. An internal investigation concluded that there was no wrongdoing on Shaw’s behalf, however Weaving was released from her contract at her request.
Weaving’s is one in a series of misconduct allegations levelled at Shaw with reports that numerous employees contacted Disney’s anonymous tip line about a range of issues including allegations of separating writers by race.
"I work daily to create an environment in which everyone should feel safe, and in which I can continue to grow as a leader and manager,” Shaw told THR. “I am now and always have been open to hearing and addressing all concerns and issues that fall within my control. It pains me to learn that anyone felt uncomfortable on my set. I sincerely hope we can work together to resolve any and all issues, as I am committed to creating a workplace in which all people feel safe and heard."