Actors will respect women on Lena Waithe's set during sex scenes — or else.

Producer, writer, and all-around wonderful human Lena Waithe recently participated in a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter.

Chatting with other producers, Waithe — the mastermind behind Showtime's "The Chi" — explored a variety of Hollywood hot topics, like how to write sensitive storylines, "pitching while black," and which creators should be able to tell which stories.

Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images.


At one point, discussions swirled around the sensitivities and standards of filming sex scenes.

As Waithe explained, the #MeToo movement has pushed her to think more critically about how those scenes are filmed and what she can do to ensure everyone feels respected on set.

"I've been very involved in Time's Up and that movement, and for season two [of "The Chi"], we're making sure that women feel safe on the set, and we're hyper-aware of what that means because there are sex scenes there," she said.  

And if any actor crosses a line, Waithe explained, their time on the show will come to a grisly end:

"We want to make sure we're talking to these actresses and also talking to our male actors and making sure they're aware. Because I don't play. I'm like, 'Look, [the show takes place in] the city of Chicago; people die every day. So if you wanna play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on-set with an actress or anyone, I will happily call Showtime and say, 'This person has to go,' and you will get shot up and it'll be a wonderful finale.'"

Waithe has been blazing trails in Hollywood for women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color.

In 2017, Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for her work on "Master of None." Her latest endeavor, "The Chi" — a show about black people made by black people — explores the racial and social dynamics at play on the south side of her hometown, Chicago.

On May 7 of this year, Waithe — who is openly gay — made waves for rocking the updated LGBTQ pride rainbow on a cape at the Met Gala. "Can't no one tell a black story, particularly a queer story, the way I can," Waithe recently explained to Vanity Fair. "Because I see the God in us."

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images.

Now, Waithe is doing what every power player should be doing: ensuring everyone working on her projects feels safe, respected, and empowered.

"I think the biggest thing is just to create a barrier around not just women, but anyone who's othered in any way, shape, or form — to make sure they have a place to go or someone to call if they're in an uncomfortable place or abusive situation," Waith told Vox in January 2018. "They need a line of defense, and I think Time's Up really has the potential to be that."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less