It was a surprise to many after the fourth season of Showtime's The Affair when it was announced that star Ruth Wilson would depart the show ahead of its fifth and final season, having won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama for its first season. The reason behind Wilson's departure wasn't clear at first but reports later revealed that the amount of nudity in the series reportedly made the actress uncomfortable. In a new interview however, Wilson opened up about her decision to leave, telling Stylist: “The reason I haven’t gone into The Affair is that I haven’t worked out how to discuss it. There’s a lot of noise and anger surrounding it, and really the power rests with me to choose how I discuss my life and my experiences.”
She continued, “What’s important to say is that I did speak up. I did have a voice. I did stand up for myself. There was a situation on The Affair where things didn’t feel right, and I dealt with them, and I managed to protect myself.”
This marks the most specific that Wilson has ever been about her time on the series and why she left, having previously told The New York Times in August 2018" It isn't about pay parity, and it wasn't about other jobs, [but] I'm not really allowed to talk about it...There is a much bigger story."THR's expose on why Wilson departed had sources pointing toward co-creator Sarah Treem and her allegedly frequent asking of actors to be nude for scenes in the series.
Teem denied the allegations in a statement to the outlet, saying: "I have devoted my entire professional life to writing about and speaking to women's issues, women's causes, women's empowerment and creating strong, complex roles for women in theater and in Hollywood, on- and offscreen. It's what I think about, what I care about, it's what drives my life and work. The reason I even created The Affair was to illuminate how the female experience of moving through the world is so different from the male one, it's like speaking a second language. The idea that I would ever cultivate an unsafe environment or harass a woman on one of my shows is utterly ridiculous and lacks a grounding in reality."
After leaving the series Wilson would go on to star in the BBC One and HBO TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials novels, whose second season premieres later this month.