Ruth Wilson claims she spoke out on the misconduct before she left The Affair in 2018. She explained that she knew something was off.
Ruth Wilson recently opened up more about why she left The Affair and claimed that she didn’t feel safe on set. The Affair ran on Showtime for 5 seasons, only recently ending in November 2019. The show follows the marriages of Cole (Joshua Jackson) and Alison Lockhart (Wilson), and Noah (Dominic West) and Helen Solloway (Maura Tierney). When Alison and Noah meet, sparks fly, and the two initiate a long-standing affair. Once their respective partners discover the secret romance, both of their marriages fall apart. Wilson won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the series in 2015.
Wilson left The Affair in 2018. While she didn’t address the reason why at the time, many sources speculated that it was because of a “toxic work environment” and sexual misconduct. The Affair handled Wilson’s departure in a very definitive way at the time, and she left the series one season before it ended in season 5. By season 4, both of the show’s protagonists had moved onto different relationships. Alison went missing as she was dating a Marine, Ben. Cole and Noah team up to look for her and learn that she had drowned from an apparent suicide. It was later revealed that Ben attacked Alison after she found out he was still married. She died from the injuries, and he threw her over a bridge to make it look like a suicide.
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Stylist recently interviewed Wilson, where she explains why she really left The Affair. While Wilson still chose not to go into an in-depth explanation, she confirmed that she left because she felt uncomfortable, even unsafe. Wilson disclosed in the interview that her decisions were based on her instincts. Even though it happened before the #MeToo movement redefined the boundaries of sexual conduct, she claimed that it was “very clear” to her that “things weren’t right” when it came to those intimate scenes. She also stated that stood her ground and spoke out about the issue before 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. 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. What’s important to say is that I did speak up. 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. It was before #MeToo and before Harvey Weinstein – and yet my instincts were very clear and strong about what I felt was wrong, about what was going on, and what I didn’t feel safe about.”
Wilson has fortunately been able to move on with her career despite her experience at The Affair. She landed a role in His Dark Materials as the protagonist’s unhinged and nefarious mother, Mrs. Coutler. Wilson appears to be enjoying playing the villain of the show, which is currently on its second season. She’s even snagged roles in True Things About Me and The Book of Ruth. While countless other actresses have had their careers sabotaged after speaking out about sexual misconduct, Wilson’s career is still going strong, which is a sign of the times.
It is fortunate that Wilson had the opportunity to speak out about conditions that she deemed unsafe at The Affair. More importantly, it is great that she is doing it on her own terms. It’s important for the public to know that it happened, but people don’t need to know the specific details. Since the Times Up and #MeToo movement, actresses have been able to speak about their experience and actually institute change. Many TV series, films, and theatrical performances have even hired intimacy coaches to facilitate safe and consensual practices while filming intimate scenes. Hopefully Hollywood will keep advancing in this direction.
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