Jesse Williams Nude Footage from Broadway Debut Leaks and Twitter Is Not Well -- Or Right

If you thought that America has become more sophisticated and mature as a society, than you might have another think coming after nude footage of Jesse Williams leaked onto social media and Twitter lost its collective mind.

The “Grey’s Anatomy” alum is starring in the Broadway revival of “Take Me Out,” which features full-frontal nudity as part of its narrative. Per the show page at 2nd Stage, audience members are required to stash their phones “out of respect and support for our actors and in order to create a phone-free space” — and probably to avoid things just like this.

2nd Stage Theater was actually employing more rigorous protocols than just relying on the honor system, having fans slip their phones into a Yondr pouch, per Playbill, that can only be opened by a specific unlocking tab in the facility’s lobby. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

While neither Williams nor the production itself have yet spoken out about the leak, Williams had previously admitted to being more than a little nervous about taking it all off on stage. It’s so much more intimate even than a nude scene on-camera because the audience is live and right there.

“I was terrified,” he told Page Six last month. “but then I noted that that was what I asked God for. I asked to be terrified. I asked to do something that was scary and challenging and made me earn it and made me feel alive and not comfortable.”

The leak happened on the same days as Tony nominations, and when Williams was joined by several of his cast-members on “Watch What Happens Live.” But considering the leak wasn’t discussed, it’s safe to say that while it may have been recorded “Live,” it wasn’t live when it broadcast — because there was no way to avoid it by then.

Nevertheless, the nudity itself did come up, with Andy Cohen saying that he didn’t want to harp on it, while continuing to harp on it. He asked Williams what it was like to have co-stars like Ellen Pompeo and Debbie Allen see him in the buff.

What he said he learned is that he didn’t want to know beforehand that they were coming. It’s enough for him to prepare for his first-ever Broadway production — which includes full-frontal nudity — without having to think about who might be in the audience.

At the same time, he had a very healthy attitude about it, as well. “Everybody makes such a big deal,” he told Cohen. “It’s a body. Once you see it, you realize, whatever. It’s just a body.”

The current run kicked off on April 4, and has subsequently been extended until June 11, per 2nd Stage. Fans were already applauding Williams on Monday after the actor picked up a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his work in the revival of the 2003 production. He is joined as a nominee by co-stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer, while “Take Me Out” itself is up for Best Revival.

By Monday night, the actor found himself trending on Twitter as the leaked footage began to make its way there. Certainly, fans weren’t shy about sharing their enthusiasm for his performance.

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