Follow up to this post
The Affair Showrunner Sarah Treem has written a column for Deadline in response to the Hollywood Reporter article on the behind the scenes drama and alleged misconduct involving Ruth Wilson.
She claims little of her POV made it into the article, and they also neglected to include the perspectives of "the half dozen" senior level producers, director and other crew members. She also says the character of Allison was based on herself and her own trauma, which she didn't want to admit but the article forced her hand.
Treem states that she and Ruth Wilson hadn't agreed on the characterization of Allison since episode two(!) but she tried to protect Ruth and shoot sex scenes safely and respectfully. She gives a detailed list of incidents where body doubles had to be used because Ruth refused to shoot the nude/sex scenes as written.
She stated: "We didn’t agree on the choices of the character or whether or not a sex scene was necessary to advance the plot, but that is not the same thing as not respecting or supporting an actress’s need to feel safe in her work environment, which is something I always take incredibly seriously."
By season three, Treem claims she was completely rewriting the character and her plot to suit Ruth's desires. She accommodated Ruth to the best of her abilities. When the Lena Dunham incident happened, Treem wasn't in the restaurant but upon hearing about it, she "urged" Showtime to do something and was told to let them handle it. By the time the third season was over, executives told Treem to write Ruth out of the show.
Regarding Ruth Wilson's exit, Treem wrote the script based on her own situation and Alison had to die because her character wouldn't just disappear. She wrote the assault as ending with Ben being impotent and killing Alison after she stands up to him because that's how most domestic violence situations end. She showed the network the script four times before she sent it out to the actors, and claims the network loved it and never gave a single note on the sexual content until Ruth's people objected. She says she fought for the script because she didn't want Ben to be the stereotype of a crazy veteran with PTSD.
She ends the column with: "I did not always agree with Ruth Wilson, but I did always have respect for her craft, her ability and her process and I tried to write her a character deserving of her immense talent. I know she’ll continue to tell the story of complex, multi-faceted, remarkable female characters for the rest of her long career.I plan on doing the same."