Lost bosses apologise to Evangeline Lilly after ‘forcing’ her to film “partially naked”

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Kayleigh Dray
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UPDATE: Lost co-creators have said they “are deeply and sincerely sorry” for making Evangeline Lilly feel unsafe at work.

Earlier this week, Evangeline Lilly has opened up about her experiences in Hollywood, in light of the recent sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the film industry.

The Lost actress recalled one particularly upsetting incident, which saw producers allegedly force her into taking her clothes off on camera.

“In season three, I’d had a bad experience on set with being basically cornered into doing a scene partially naked, and I felt I had no choice in the matter,” said Lilly, during her recent appearance on The LOST Boys podcast.

“I was mortified and I was trembling, and when it finished I was crying my eyes out and had to go on and do another very formidable and strong scene immediately after.”

Lilly went on to explain that, when a similar situation came up in a later season, she “fought very hard to have that scene be under my control”.

However, she “failed to control it again”. It was this which triggered her to insist upon a no-nudity clause in her contract going forward.

“I said. ‘That’s it – no more… I will never take my clothes off on this show again’,” she recalled. “And I didn’t.”

Now, in a joint statement, Lost co-creators and executive producers J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof and executive producers Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse have apologised to Lilly.

“Our response to Evie’s comments this morning in the media was to immediately reach out to her to profoundly apologise for the experience she detailed while working on Lost,” they said in the statement. 

“We have not yet connected with her, but remain deeply and sincerely sorry. No person should ever feel unsafe at work. Period.”

Lilly has yet to respond to their comments.

Lilly is not the first actress to be forced into removing her clothes on set – and we sorely doubt she will be the last. Indeed, just six months ago, Sarah Jessica Parker recalled how she had been left “sobbing” on a movie set after being pressured into performing nude.

“They were like, ‘Sarah Jessica’s going to be nude tomorrow,’ and I was like ‘I’m not going to be nude,’ ”she stressed.

Parker added that Kevin Huvane, her agent, “stepped in” to remove her from the uncomfortable situation.

“My agent sent a car and a plane ticket [to the film set] and he said, ‘If anybody makes you do anything that you’re not comfortable doing, you don’t.’

“Given what’s happening now and the stories told from that particular period, I know how lucky I am that there was someone – in this case, a man – who stepped in.”

Of course, it’s widely known women are much more likely to be sexualised in the media than their male counterparts. Indeed, women are three times more likely to appear partially or fully nude in movies, according to a Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles that studied the 100 top grossing films in 2014.

However, with more women getting behind the camera than ever before (think Reese Witherspoon and Margot Robbie, to name just two), things have slowly – very slowly – begun to change. And for the better, too. 

It goes without saying that roles for women are becoming more complex, more diverse, more empowered. Just look at Lilly: a little over a decade after she launched her career as Lost’s Kate, a woman who spent much of her story arc chasing after two men on a deserted island, she has stormed into cinemas as The Wasp. Aka Hope Pym. Aka the first Marvel female superhero to get her own bloody movie.

Fingers crossed that next year’s report highlights the enormous impact of these female voices – not to mention the power of #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement. Because it’s hight time that we ushered in a new era of more brilliant, and more clothed, roles for women.

Image: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.