Ever since Ruth Wilson’s surprising exit from The Affair during its fourth season in 2018, there has been much speculation about why she left the award-winning role.
The actress has been cryptic about the whole scenario, hinting at a much bigger story behind the exit, while maintaining on several occasions that she was not allowed to talk about.
According to a bombshell report in the December 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, the reason the actress has not been able to be transparent about her decision, is because she is constrained by the terms of an NDA.
The report includes numerous unnamed sources, who allege that Wilson had taken issue with “the frequency and nature of certain nude scenes,” saying the actress found some of them “titillating.”
One scene, in particular, called for Wilson to shoot an “aggressive sex scene” in which she was pushed up against a tree by co-star, Dominic West. The actress was said to by “unamused” by the scene’s “rapey” nature.
Showrunner, Sarah Treem maintained to THR that “I am not a manipulative person, and I’ve always been a feminist…. [I] did everything I could think of to make [Wilson] feel comfortable with these scenes.”
“The reason I even created The Affair was to illuminate how the female experience of moving through the world is so different from the male one…,” Treem added.
“The idea that I would ever cultivate an unsafe environment or harass a woman on one of my shows is utterly ridiculous and lacks a grounding in reality.”
The report states that Wilson was only able to raise a complaint with Showtime about a “hostile work environment” after details of director Jeffrey Reiner came to light thanks to a blind item on a website from run by Girls producer Jenni Konner and Lena Dunham.
The blind item claimed that a “producer/director” on a fellow TV series that filmed in the Montauk asked Dunham if she would persuade one of its stars to “show her t–s, or at least some vag[ina].”
The man is also said to have had an image of a nude male actor from a scene that was from a closed set.
Treem ultimately sent the cast and crew an email talking about the production’s “zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and assault.”
That was said to cause a divide between the actor’s and the producers. Reiner subsequently left the series following the third season after he was reportedly told he would not be directing any episodes with Wilson.
In the aftermath, Wilson used the indident to prepare her exit from the series. The actress is said to have recieved a payout, and returned to film her Season 4 scenes ahead of time, with the caveat being that Treem was not allowed to be on set.
It is also said that Wilson played a part in crafting Alison’s final arc, with the actress vetoing the decision to have the character be violently murdered after fighting off an attempted rape.
If you watch The Affair online, you know Alison was murdered by her boyfriend, and was not sexually assaulted.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.