Though Shameless has the freedom afforded to it by being on Showtime—i.e. nudity, profanity and the like—star Emmy Rossum insists that the network has never been exploitive when it comes to sex scenes.
“We’re just trying to find the honest truth of what a character would do in that moment,” she said during Showtime’s “Sexuality and Television: A Female Perspective” at the Television Critics Association’s winter TV previews. “If the honest truth involves sexuality, if it involves intimacy between two characters or violence between two characters, whatever it is, as long as it feels real.”
Still, Rossum said some things can slip through the cracks, but that applies to more than sexuality. “Sometimes we see drafts or ideas and we think, ‘This doesn’t feel necessary. How is this furthering the story?’” she continued. “But things can feel exploitive in a lot of different ways. They can feel emotionally exploitive, a character could cry too much for no reason because that seems like the obvious thing to do.”
“Nothing has ever been like, ‘Well, we’re on Showtime, we gotta show some titties,’” executive producer Nancy Pimental added. “It all has a nucleus, an origin and a base.”
Shameless airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.