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Frankie Shaw Addresses SMILF On-Set Misconduct Allegations in a Weak Statement

SMILF

We previously covered the allegations and news that SMILF creator Frankie Shaw was under investigation for “abusive behavior and violations of industry rules.” Now Shaw is speaking out about this in an interview with NBC’s Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Sadly, it was only briefly, but she did address the allegations, saying: “This is my first time doing this job and we moved fast, and I was learning on the go and I’m just really grateful that I can take these lessons of being a more aware and in-tune showrunner moving forward.”

To recap, here are the things that Shaw is accused of doing according to the Hollywood Reporter piece that came out last year:

“[…] according to sources, Rosie O’Donnell, who plays the character if Tutu on the show, contacted Showtime executive Amy Israel as well as executive producer Scott King, in order “to express concern about a chaotic and troubled set” especially due to, allegedly, “Shaw’s treatment of fellow actress Samara Weaving.”

Weaving is leaving the show and “she claimed her contract was breached during the filming of a sex scene in the second season.” In said scene, Shaw is alleged to have instructed video monitors to be turned on even though the set was supposed to be closed.”

Samara Weaving had a non-nudity clause in her contract that Shaw was allegedly bullying her into breaking. One part of the report claims that when Weaving said no about appearing nude, “a source says an exasperated Shaw pulled her into a trailer, yanked off her own top and demanded to know why Weaving had a problem being nude when Shaw had no such concerns. (Shaw’s lawyer says her breasts were not exposed when she yanked up her shirt.)”

Now, I’ve never been a creator or showrunner of a show, but I can imagine that if you are a feminist and want to create a healthy work environment you don’t demand that people who don’t want to appear nude do so (when it’s in their contract that existed when you hired them) and pull off your own top in response, exposed breasts or not. It’s unprofessional at least and sexual harassment at worse. She’s your employee and co-worker, that sort of behavior is unacceptable. Add that to the claims that Shaw kept a segregated writing room, and it’s just not a good look all around.

While Rosie O’Donnell is standing beside Shaw now, it should be noted that she was the one who brought attention to the treatment of Samara Weaving.

Shaw’s statement leaves me cold. Lack of experience running a show can lead to multiple problems, but racism and harassment should not be among those things that should be considered “growing pains.” Shaw has been a working actress since 2oo5, she’s been on sets before. Another human being’s suffering at your hand is not a test run, and I wish she’d actually had something more thoughtful to say.

What Shaw did shouldn’t be excused because she’s a woman. She’s a professional and earned the opportunity to lead the charge and she squandered it. I hope she can right the ship since the show is moving forward, but we shouldn’t be quick to forget what she is accused of doing.

(via AV Club, image: Showtime)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.