HBO’s Westworld doesn’t debut until 2016, but already it’s making headlines.
The science-fiction series will delve into the seedier complications of artificial consciousness and, apparently, plans to do that with a lot of naked extras in the background.
An undetermined number of background players were given a disclosure and consent form by Central Casting that informed the actors that their role would require participation in graphic sexual situations. Among them are genital-related actions, the least of which included paint, the strangest of which included the phrase “table-like shape.” The list then concludes with a catch-all “and other assorted acts the Project may require.”
SAG-AFTRA, the labor union representing more than 160,000 film and TV professionals, seemed concerned enough by the consent form foisted upon the extras that it posted a notice Tuesday addressing the required permission and informing its members that “to the extent it conflicts with the SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement, it is unenforceable.”
“The document that the background actors were given was created by an outside extras casting vendor,” HBO said this afternoon amid a controversial day on the set of Westworld, its upcoming series that had more than 55 extras in the buff and taking part in “graphic sexual situations” before the cameras.
“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,” the premium cabler said. “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.”