Ruth Wilson's Real Reason for Leaving 'The Affair' Finally Revealed

Ruth Wilson left 'The Affair' at the end of the fourth season... but why? Was it due to her not receiving equal pay or did she simply want to leave?

Samantha Faragalli Younghans - Author

Apr. 20 2020, Updated 2:35 p.m. ET

why did ruth wilson leave the affair
Source: Showtime

The final season of The Affair has come and gone, but there are still a slew of burning questions about the cast — specifically, Ruth Wilson and her unexpected exit from the Showtime series.  

So, why did Ruth Wilson leave The Affair? Scroll down to find out!

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Why did Ruth Wilson leave The Affair?

While Hollywood faces are typically open about why they exit shows, Ruth Wilson was not. In fact, in a CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King at the time, she revealed: "I did want to leave, but I'm not allowed to talk about why."

When Gayle followed up by asking her if it had anything to do with equal pay, she replied: "I've never complained to Showtime about pay parity."

ruth wilson the affair
Source: Instagram
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Now, more details have emerged about her decision to leave before the final season, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ruth allegedly left due to a "hostile work environment," the nudity requirements of the show, and the direction of her character, Allison. 

"There was a culture problem at the show from the very beginning and a tone-deafness from [showrunner] Sarah Treem about recognizing the position she was putting actors in," a source told the outlet. "Over and over again, I witnessed Sarah Treem try to cajole actors to get naked even if they were uncomfortable or not contractually obligated to."

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For example, during the second season, Ruth declined to film an "aggressive" sex scene with her co-star Dominic West. "It was rapey," another source explained. "Ruth was very unamused by it."

However, Sarah Treem denies the allegations. 

sarah treem ruth wilson
Source: Getty Images
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"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," she told THR. "t'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."

What happened to Ruth Wilson's character, Alison Bailey, on The Affair?

During the shocking August 5, 2018 episode of The Affair, Ruth's character, Alison, was tragically killed off the show after a lifetime of heartbreak and tragedy.

She was murdered by her married boyfriend, Ben, and then her dead body was thrown into the ocean. However, her death was deemed a suicide. 

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ruth wilson the affair
Source: Showtime

And her death was long-planned even though fans were shocked. "Ruth wanted to leave the show. That was a request, so that was decided basically before we started writing," showrunner Sarah Treem revealed to The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "It wasn't a discovery of any kind. That was very deliberate. And actually, we shot all of her work first. Her whole storyline was shot before we shot anything else."

Ruth is reported to have signed an NDA, preventing her from speaking out. 

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