SMILF Creator Takes Heat for Handling of Sex Scenes

Frankie Shaw cleared of wrongdoing, though one actress decided to leave
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2018 7:41 AM CST
On-Set Trouble for Hit Show SMILF
Frankie Shaw appears in a scene from "SMILF."   (Claire Folger/Showtime via AP)

"It was sort of a kismet, perfect opportunity," SMILF creator Frankie Shaw told Deadline in June of the rise of her Showtime show amid the #MeToo movement. Through its conversations about women and abuse, it "happens to really resonate with everything that's going on right now." Her words have taken on new meaning, however, given misconduct claims on set. "She uses this idea of being feminist and a progressive as camouflage," one staffer tells the Hollywood Reporter. The allegations include improperly handled sex scenes, the separation of writers by race, and a generally troubled set. However, show producer ABC Studios investigated and found no wrongdoing on the part of Shaw, reports Variety. The issues with the intimate scenes involve actress Samara Weaving, in seasons one and two.

In the first season, Weaving, who has a no-nudity clause, balked at performing nude, prompting Shaw to pull up her own shirt to show her it was no big deal, per the Hollywood Reporter. In the second season, Shaw wore underwear in an intimate scene with a nude male actor; both had complained about the scene beforehand, and while it was supposed to be a closed set, Shaw reportedly turned on monitors during the shoot. Weaving was later released from the show at her request. Says the 37-year-old Shaw: "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," she says. Her lawyer denies allegations of separating writers by race. SMILF's second season premieres Jan. 20. (On the hit show Transparent, actor Jeffrey Tambor got into hot water.)

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