'Take Me Out' Producers Take Added Security Measure to Prevent More Nude Leaks

Tuesday May 17, 2022

Jesse Williams (center) and the Broadway cast of "Take Me Out"
Jesse Williams (center) and the Broadway cast of "Take Me Out"  

The producers of "Take Me Out" on Broadway thought they had instituted measures to keep audience members from taking photos of its naked cast members — which includes such TV stars as Jesse Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The starry revival of Richard Greenberg's Tony-winning 2003 play follows what happens when a major league player comes out and features locker room scenes with full-frontal nudity. Amongst the security measures instituted to prevent audience members from sneaking pics of the show's naked stars was having phones be placed in locked pouches; but that didn't prevent one audience member from filming Williams and putting it on social media.

Since then, more security measures have gone into place. Last Wednesday, according to a report from website DNYUZ, a new infrared security camera has been installed to help its security team spot surreptitious camera usage by audience members.

"Peter Dean, the director of production for Second Stage, said the theater's security team already had a camera view of the audience that it monitored before, during and after the play's shower sequences, but that on Wednesday morning it had added a PTZ camera (the initials stand for pan, tilt, zoom) which would allow it to get a clearer image of individual audience members at the Hayes Theater, where 'Take Me Out' is running."

He continued: "This will allow us to focus on an audience member who looks like they're doing something suspicious, and assess whether they're just going through a purse to get a breath mint or pulling out a phone."

He said that if security spots a forbidden phone, it will alert the ushers and house manager, and that "we're having discussions internally whether we would then stop the show, or send an usher or security when we see someone, to remove them." He said the theater staff could ask patrons to delete footage from a phone, or could call the New York Police Department for assistance.

Asked what an audience member should do if they spot someone filming, Dean said, "We're New Yorkers. If you see something, say something."