In late 2019, sources involved with the production told The Hollywood Reporter that the 38-year-old was frustrated “with the nudity required of her” and “what she ultimately felt was a hostile work environment.”
Wilson, who sat down for the latest issue of Stylist magazine, explained why she hasn’t commented on her departure from the show.
“The reason I haven’t gone into ‘The Affair’ is that I haven’t worked out how to discuss it,” said Wilson. “There’s a lot of noise and anger surrounding it, and really the power rests with me to choose how I discuss my life and my experiences.”
Despite the success of ‘The Affair,’ the situation on set is reportedly why Ruth Wilson left before its fifth and final season.
(Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Women in Film and TV)
“What’s important to say is that I did speak up,” Wilson continued. “I did have a voice. I did stand up for myself. There was a situation on ‘The Affair’ where things didn’t feel right, and I dealt with them, and I managed to protect myself.”
“The Affair,” which explored the impact of an extramarital relationship, starred Wilson, as well as Dominic West, Joshua Jackson and Maura Tierney. Despite the show’s success, the situation on set is reportedly why Wilson, the series’ lead actress, left before its fifth and final season.
The Golden Globe winner told The New York Times in 2018, “There’s a much bigger story,” and also appeared on “CBS This Morning,” telling co-host Gayle King: “I did want to leave but I’m not allowed to talk about why.”
Sarah Treem, the showrunner of “The Affair,” spoke out after a source alleged to The Hollywood Reporter that she would “try to cajole actors to get naked even if they were uncomfortable or not contractually obligated to.”
Sarah Treem (left), the showrunner of ‘The Affair,’ spoke out in response to the allegations made against her.
In an op-ed essay written for Deadline, Treem explained her experience working behind the scenes on the Showtime drama.
“Unfortunately, not much of my perspective made it into the [THR] story,” she wrote, “nor the perspectives of many of the half dozen senior-level producers, director and other key crew members who spoke up.”
She outlined disagreements she had with Wilson about the direction the show was taking her character, Alison, and why there were so many scenes that required her to be nude.
“On a continuous basis throughout Ruth’s time on the show, I tried to protect her and shoot sex scenes safely and respectfully,” Treem wrote.
‘The Affair’ came to an end in 2019.
“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.
“I have given my entire professional life to confronting the patriarchy and celebrating women’s narratives through my writing,” she added. “Yes, I know women can be chauvinists and there is misogyny among women, but that is simply not what happened here.
“When I asked for more help at the end of the first season because I was having difficulty being all things to all people and maintaining a creative vision, I was told I simply needed to be ‘more maternal.’ As in many things, it is very tough to be a woman and do this job.
“I did not always agree with Ruth Wilson, but I did always have respect for her craft, her ability and her process and 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.”
In a statement sent to Fox News at the time, Showtime responded to THR’s report: “At its core, Showtime has always prioritized the discovery and support of new talent, by providing an inclusive platform for original voices, and a safe environment for them to do their best work.
(L-R) Actors Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson, creator/executive producer Sarah Treem and executive producer/director Jeffrey Reiner speak onstage during the ‘The Affair’ panel discussion at the Showtime portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour.
(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
“When confronted with a report of inappropriate behavior involving anyone within our offices or productions, we immediately initiate a process overseen by our compliance team in the case of our own shows, or in the case of series we license from others, we collaborate closely with the relevant production studio. In the instances that THR is referencing, appropriate and decisive action was taken,” the statement concluded.
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report.