Netflix, BBC and ITV set to ‘ban’ corsets from period dramas like Bridgerton

Period dramas like Bridgerton may be ditching one of the most recognisable costume items – corsets – after fears they are injuring actors.

Worn to hold and shape the torso to look smaller, the garment dates back to Ancient Greece, but became a fashion staple in the Victorian era, which began in the 1830s.

They’ve been used in many period dramas in recent decades, including Bridgerton, Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice adaptations.

But now several networks and streaming services are said to be banning them.

In a move to appease young actors, they will now be allowed to wear their own underwear instead of the restrictive undergarment.

‘The corset is famously restrictive, and many actresses have complained to wardrobe departments about damage, both short-term and long, being done after a long 12 to 14 hour day wearing them on set,’ a source told The Sun.

‘Essentially, there were health and safety concerns about keeping women in a pinching corset for weeks at a time.’

‘Many stars have reported bruising and even breathing problems.’

They added: ‘In today’s increasingly woke world, it’s also not great optics to be encouraging women to have thinner waists.’

‘It may well have been reflective of the time, but broadcasters and streamers want to be seen as progressive.’

The source said this marked a ‘big moment in the history of the period drama.’

Bridgerton producers reportedly recently informed the cast that they would no longer be required to wear corsets, however Netflix did not confirm to if this was the case.

It is also reported that ITV have already followed suit, with the BBC ‘set to join the boycott’.

Last year Bridgerton actress Simone Ashley, who played Kate Sharma in the second season, revealed wearing a corset was an intensely uncomfortable experience.

‘I realised when you wear the corset, you just don’t eat. It changes your body,’ she told Glamour.

‘I had a smaller waist very momentarily.

‘Then the minute you stop wearing it, you’re just back to how your body is. I had a lot of pain with the corset, too, I think I tore my shoulder at one point.’

She’s not the only star to speak about the pain that the costume piece brings, with Emma Stone saying in 2018 that donning a corset was ‘gross’.

The actor also said she ‘couldn’t f***ing breathe’ while wearing one.

‘Women existed in that for such a long time, which does give you a lot of sympathy for that time period and what they were going through. For the first month, I couldn’t breathe.’

After starring in 2008’s The Duchess Kiera Knightley, who had worn corsets before for several projects including Pirates of the Caribbean and Anna Karenina called them ‘positively awful’. has contacted BBC and ITV for comment.

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