Jennifer Aniston’s “Flippant” And “Disrespectful” Attitude Towards Intimacy Coordinators Has Sparked Backlash, And Here’s Everything You Need To Know

“I’m glad she was comfortable without an intimacy coordinator but there are other people involved who should also be comfortable in their workplace,” one X user wrote.

Jennifer Aniston is facing backlash for her comments about turning down an intimacy coordinator for her sex scene on The Morning Show.

In a new interview with Variety alongside her costar and fellow executive producer Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer recalled shooting intimate scenes for the third season of the Apple TV+ series with Jon Hamm, who plays Paul — the love interest of her character, Alex.

Notably, this is the first time in Jennifer’s career that she’s done a scene of this nature. And she started by saying that Jon — who she’s been friends with for more than 12 years — couldn’t have been more supportive while they were shooting.

“I never felt uncomfortable,” Jen said. “Jon was such a gentleman, always — I mean every move, every cut, ‘You OK?’ It was also very choreographed.”

Additionally, she credited the show’s director, Mimi Leder, who she said made her feel “protected” at all times.

“That’s the beauty of Mimi and our gorgeous editor, the music and lighting,” she said.

Citing this, and the fact that the scene is heavily choreographed, Jennifer said she didn’t put too much emphasis on preparation. She also revealed that she and Jon opted not to have an intimacy coordinator while they filmed.

For a bit of context, an intimacy coordinator is a professional who comes onto film and TV sets when actors are shooting sex scenes and other potentially compromising onscreen scenarios, particularly those that might involve nudity.

As well as obviously supporting the actors involved in the scene, the role of the intimacy coordinator is to make sure that the cast and crew feel comfortable too. They’ll also often assist in choreographing the scenes and making sure everyone involved feels safe and advocated for.

It isn’t currently a legal requirement to use intimacy coordinators. However, in the wake of the Me Too movement, it’s certainly become standard practice on most sets, and certain broadcasters — like HBO — have even made it mandatory for shows that simulate sex or nudity to have them on hand to supervise.

But when it came to the scene in question on The Morning Show, Jennifer said that she and Jon decided they were happy to figure it out for themselves without anyone else’s input.

“They asked us if we wanted an intimacy coordinator. I’m from the olden days, so I was like, ‘What does that mean?’” she said, admitting she had no idea what the purpose of the role was.

“They said, ‘Where someone asks you if you’re OK,’” Jennifer recalled, “and I’m like, ‘Please, this is awkward enough!’”

“We’re seasoned — we can figure this one out,” she added. “And we had Mimi there.”

In the short time since the interview was published on Monday, Jennifer’s comments have started attracting criticism online, with people accusing her of “minimizing” the importance of intimacy coordinators.

“‘Where someone asks if you’re okay’ is such a minimizing and disrespectful description of what an intimacy coordinator actually does,” one person wrote on X, amassing more than 35, 000 likes.

“Where someone asks if you’re okay” is such a minimizing and disrespectful description of what an intimacy coordinator actually does

— Justin Casselle (@justincasselle) December 11, 2023
Twitter: @justincasselle / Apple TV+

And while a lot of people were happy to appreciate Jennifer’s right to decide for herself, they still felt that her “flippant” attitude sought to diminish the legitimate work that intimacy coordinators do — particularly for actors who are newer to the industry.

“Having seen firsthand the kind of work an intimacy coordinator actually does, it actually deflates the awkwardness and helps actors build boundaries and trust with one another,” another person wrote. “If it’s not for her that’s fine but it’s legitimate work that can be effective for performance.”

Twitter: @RdySethGo

“An intimacy coordinator basically [choreographs] the intimacy and takes into account the actors’ boundaries,” added someone else. “Saying ‘someone who asks if you are okay’ is not only dismissing, but also completely wrong.”

Twitter: @SelfStan

While discussing the importance of the role, others also noted that intimacy coordinators are not only in place to support the actors, but the cast and crew as well, saying they should be “a requirement not an option.”

Twitter: @TheOscargot

“I feel like everyone is missing that intimacy coordinators aren’t just there for the comfort of the actors. It’s everyone on set,” another person said, adding: “I’m glad she was comfortable without an intimacy coordinator but there are other people involved who should also be comfortable in their workplace.”

Twitter: @averacados

Notably, Jennifer’s comment about being from “the olden days” didn’t sit well with fans either — namely due to the fact that “the olden days” in Hollywood facilitated a lot of problematic behavior, and these are the kinds of precautions that have been put in place to promote change and make the industry safer.

The fact that she don’t get that the olden days is WHY they started doing that…

— ✿ well ✿ (@dojasbin) December 12, 2023
Twitter: @dojasbin / Apple TV+

And amidst all the backlash, a number of people also pointed out the irony in Jennifer’s comments due to the fact that The Morning Show takes inspiration from the Me Too movement, with the central themes being about the abuse of power and consent in major corporations.

“The irony of playing the role [of a] talk show host who ignored her cohosts sexually predatory behavior not getting why an intimacy coordinator should be encouraged by and how it empowers actors without her clout,” someone wrote, expressing their frustration.

Amazon Prime Video / Twitter: @andremortonpix

“And the irony of her saying this when the main premise of this show is how legacy media covers up sex scandals and racism in order to protect yt people in power…” added someone else.

Twitter: @noivaswright

Discussing this real life aspect of the show during their Variety interview, Reese — who plays Bradley — said that the series “mirrors a lot of what’s going on in the world.”

“It’s creating adult conversations about issues that we’re dealing with every day in real time in our workplace environments and in our personal lives, so it helps us process,” she said.

You can read Reese and Jennifer’s full Variety interview here.

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