Jesse Williams seen heading to his Broadway show Take Me Out for the first time after someone in the audience leaked a NUDE VIDEO of the Grey's Anatomy star on stage
- Williams was seen heading to the theater ahead of his performance
- A nude video of him filmed at the show was leaked earlier this week
- Second Stage Theater has warned that 'severe legal consequences' could result from the taping or posting of the video
- The Actors' Equity Association, the Broadway union, 'strongly condemned' the sneaking of photography in the theater
- 'Modern Family' actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson said he was 'appalled' and whoever took the footage has no place in the theater
- The theater is adding extra security to the theater to ensure there are no repeat performances
Jesse Williams was spotted on Wednesday as he made his way to the Hayes Theater on Broadway ahead of that evening's performance of his play Take Me Out in Manhattan.
The 40-year-old Grey's Anatomy star was seen for the first time since a nude video of him surreptitiously filmed during a performance was posted online earlier this week.
The actor looked downcast while walking in a yellow raincoat following statements from the theater company staging the show that it would be cracking down on the person who leaked the video.
Back at it: Jesse Williams, 40, was seen walking to the Hayes Theater on Broadway in Manhattan on Wednesday ahead of a performance of Take Me Out after nude video of him onstage was leaked
Jesse was seen walking to the theater on the overcast day in a Tommy Hilfiger coat, which he buttoned up and wore over a black hoodie.
He kept the hood up and paired the coat with low-key charcoal shorts and white trainers, while wearing an Under Armour backpack slung over his shoulders.
The stage and screen star stopped before heading into the theater to call out to a fan waiting outside.
Williams was looked reserved following news that the theater is taking extra steps to prevent audience members from filming the production, which features full-frontal nudity from him and most of the principal cast members.
On the move: He wore a yellow Tommy Hilfiger raincoat with a black hoodie, gray shorts and white trainers, plus a backpack. Williams stopped to shout out a fan as he entered the theater
Peter Dean, the director of production at Second Stage, said the theater had installed a special PTZ (which stands for 'pan, tilt, zoom') camera, according to the New York Times on Wednesday.
The theater already had cameras installed that were trained on the audience member, but this new device would give a clearer view of anyone trying to film or photograph the performance.
'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,' Dead said.
Fighting back: Earlier in the day, Second Stage Theater announced that it was installing a new camera system to help spot people in the audience using their phones, which are supposed to be locked up
The audience member who recorded and then posted a video Williams during a shower scene could be facing 'severe legal consequences,' according to a strongly-worded statement from Second Stage.
On Tuesday, after a brief recording of Williams in the nude surfaced online, many female fans applauded the footage, but the theater, fellow actors and a Broadway union gave it negative reviews.
'It is deeply unfortunate that one audience member chose to disrespect the production, their fellow audience members, and, most importantly, the cast in this manner,' Second stage said in a statement posted on Twitter.
'Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences.'
Risqué: The play features a shower scene where most of the cast go naked, which is the scene that was somehow filmed and leaked
Fighting back: Second Stage issued a statement condemning the leak
Social media lit up with snaps of the Grey's Anatomy star naked on stage playing the character of Darren Lemming, a Major League Baseball player who comes out as gay, and is said to be based on New York Yankees player Derek Jeter.
Second Stage has taken pains to ensure that this sort of pirated video does not happen, requiring audience member to lock their phones in Yondr pouches during the show, which explores issues of homophobia in major league sports.
Co-stars Patrick J. Adams, of Suits fame and Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson were also nude during the scene, as is most of the cast.
Coming out: The play follows Williams' character, a star center fielder for the Empires, who comes out as gay
The theater places a notices in the shows program instructing that photography is prohibited and said that they added more security staff to ensure it doesn't happen again.
'Post it to the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and the audience forged in the theater community,' Second Stage said in their statement. 'We are actively pursuing take down requests and ask that no one participates in the distribution of these images.'
The Actors' Equity Association, the union representing Broadway actors, also slammed the breach in audience etiquette.
Revealing: Just hours after receiving his first Tony nomination for his role in the revival of Take Me Out, Jesse Williams was trending on social media for a much more revealing reason
'We condemn in the strongest possible terms the creation and distribution of photographs and videos of our members during a nude scene,' Kate Shindle, the union president, told the New York Times.
'As actors, we regularly agree to be vulnerable onstage in order to tell difficult and challenging stories. This does not mean that we agree to have those vulnerable moments widely shared by anyone who feels like sneaking a recording device into the theater.'
Co-star Ferguson also slammed the recording and posting of the video.
'I'm appalled by the disrespect shown to the actors of our company whose vulnerability on stage every night is crucial to 'Take Me Out,' he wrote on Twitter. 'Anyone who applauds or trivializes this behavior has no place in the theater which has always been a safe space for artists & audience members.'
Noice: @realwild added 'That Jesse Williams pen1s looks REAL NOICE
However, on Twitter Williams illicit footage prompted a standing ovation. 'That Jessie Williams pen!s look REAL NOICE,' posted Twitter handle @Realwild.
Others scolded on social media, calling the attention over the leaks a double-standard.
'Watching all these women sexually harassing Jesse Williams was weird,' Sweetgreen Queen posted.
And Che Voices chided 'What y'all doing to Jesse Williams is disgusting and if it ahd been a woman, it would be clear to see. If guys were all over social media saying 'that sh*t look tight, I'd love to hit,' there would be no question. It's disgusting and a massive invasion.'
Williams has not publicly commented on the leak.