The Affair showrunner hits back at reports of 'hostility' on set

Sarah Treem

The Affair showrunner Sarah Treem has denied allegations that Ruth Wilson quit the hit Showtime series due to "ongoing frustrations with the nudity required of her".

The 37-year-old British actress enjoyed huge success playing Alison Bailey in the Showtime drama series, earning herself a Golden Globe Award and millions of new fans worldwide, but left the programme after the fourth season in 2018 without explanation.

Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter claimed the star departed the series over "what she ultimately felt was a hostile work environment," that included filming nude scenes she was uncomfortable with.

In a piece for Deadline, however, Treem insisted the nudity in the show wasn't gratuitous, but was integral to the plot, which shows the same incident from different perspectives - including sex scenes exploring consent.

The showrunner wrote that she removed and altered sex scenes Wilson "objected" to, in one instance shot a scene that was integral to the plot with a body double, and by the third season she was writing with the actress' views in mind.

Defending herself, Treem added: "We didn't agree on the choices of the character or whether or not a sex scene was necessary to advance the plot, but that is not the same thing as not respecting or supporting an actress's need to feel safe in her work environment, which is something I always take incredibly seriously."

The screenwriter also claimed Showtime executives told her to write Wilson's character out of the show in season four and that they fought over her death scene, as she was determined to maintain her original vision as it depicted a traumatised ex-soldier and Alison in a domestic violence situation.

However, Treem concluded the piece by insisting she still has "respect" for Wilson's "ability and her process", adding: "I tried to write her a character deserving of her immense talent. I know she'll continue to tell the story of complex, multi-faceted, remarkable female characters for the rest of her long career. I plan on doing the same."


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