Back in the day, HBO pushed boundaries by showing the odd nipple. Sure, the sex scenes were a little raunchier and the themes a little more adult than regular cable in, say, Sex and the City, but the shows rarely went beyond what most sexual beings would experience in the bedroom IRL. Then Game of Thrones upped the ante.
Game of Thrones takes your typical HBO sex scenes, multiplies them by a billion and adds rape and torture. Many publications, including the Atlantic, have called into question the excessive use of sexual violence in the beloved series. Yet ratings are higher than ever. So what does HBO do? They double down.
Enter Westworld, the network’s forthcoming hit; a sci fi western about amusement park robots that turn on the very humans that created them (that’s original). Created by Jonathan Nolan (who co-wrote brother Christopher’s films Interstellar and The Dark Knight, among others) it’s based on the film of the same name written and directed by best-selling novelist Michael Crichton. And, unsurprisingly, it will feature a wide range of bizarre sexual encounters. Here is the casting call for the show via Deadline:
“This document serves to inform you that this project will require you to be fully nude and/or witness others fully nude and participate in graphic sexual situations. By accepting this Project assignment, you may be required to do any of the following: appear fully nude; wear a pubic hair patch; perform genital-to-genital touching; have your genitals painted; simulate oral sex with hand-to-genital touching; contort to form a table-like shape while being fully nude; pose on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back; ride on someone’s back while you are both fully nude; and other assorted acts the Project may require. The Project will also include language and sexual situations that some may consider personally objectionable or uncomfortable.”
Painted genitals?! Table-like shape?! Riding on someone’s back fully nude?! Genital-to-genital touching?! Assorted acts?! The explicit acts supposedly have SAG-AFTRA concerned. Is HBO asking too much of its actors, particularly the bit-part newbies willing to compromise their morals to get mere seconds of their bare flesh on the screens of millions? Probably. Will Westworld be a hit? Definitely.