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Westworld casting call for 'genital to genital touching' lands HBO in hot water

HBO has come under fire from Hollywood's biggest union after a casting note calling for actors to agree to "genital to genital touching" was released.

More specifically, the note for Jonathan Nolan's upcoming highly anticipated, futuristic western series Westworld — based on Michael Crichton's (Jurassic Park) 1973 movie of the same name — declared background actors "may be required to perform genital-to-genital touching, 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 [and] ride on someone's back while you are both fully nude," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In response to HBO's lack of oversight on the project, SAG-AFTRA issued a formal statement.

"SAG-AFTRA sent the consent form to HBO yesterday afternoon and requested that the document be changed to more accurately reflect the contractual provisions," the release read.

"HBO had every opportunity to rectify this situation and it was only after their direct refusal to remedy this that we posted the notice on our website."

HBO responded to the concerns but never offered a formal apology. According to their release, the casting sheet was created by a third-party company and was in no way affiliated with the network.

The company said, "It was not requested, written or approved by HBO, Warner Bros. Television, or the producers, and contains situations that we do not require of any actor."

Even when it confirmed they had rectified the situation, SAG-AFTRA condemned the network for not catching the mistake in the first place and waiting until the problem had worsened to fix it.

The union said that it was "very pleased to hear that HBO is doing the right thing now, but it is disappointing that we had to take such public measures to ensure compliance with our contracts and protect our background actors."

Although HBO hasn't explicitly stated whether or not gratuitous nudity would be removed from the show entirely, SAG-AFTRA reminded actors that they do have the rights to pull out of a scene if they feel uncomfortable with any of the material. If the actors do choose to decide to complete the scene, however, it should be filmed on a closed set and they should be given as much privacy as possible.

Westworld is scheduled to air sometime next year and HBO released the first sneak peek of the series earlier this year, which you can watch below.

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