Nudity clauses, standard on films, now becoming standard on network TV

Published January 23, 2012

| New York Post

Behind every bare breast and flash of buttocks is a hard working entertainment lawyer.

The lawyer is usually the one to negotiate Hollywood’s most awkward legal agreement: the nudity clause.

“The nudity rider spells out exactly what an actor agrees to do in a role: partial nudity, full frontal nudity — even simulated sex,” LA attorney Brian J. Murphy says.

The document — usually about one page — can be extremely detailed.

It typically includes which body parts can be shown, from which angle and for how long.

The nudity clause — once a rarity on TV — is becoming, if not standard, an everyday part of contract negotiations.

And it’s starting to show.

Kristen Bell, who came to fame 10 years ago as a crime-solving high school student on “Veronica Mars,” agreed to work in a bra and panties — but not the Full Monty — in the new sex-filled Showtime drama “House of Lies.” She’s now 31.

Shows like NBC’s “Playboy Club” negotiated detailed nudity riders with key actors to cover scenes filmed for DVD or overseas use.

“You have to be careful not to put yourself in a position where you might be taken advantage of,” says 19 year-old Vanessa Marano of ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth.”

“Especially if you are not a series regular and you are just a woman going in for a guest spot on cable, they will expect you to take it off. I did ‘Dexter,’ and there were people naked everywhere on that. I was safe because I was underage, but if I were older, my clothes would have probably had to come off. ”

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