Finally, a privileged white male is using his power to do some good. David Schwimmer, actor and director, is helping to launch a campaign to show what sexual harassment really means in ever day life.
The project includes six shorts, which show sexual harassment scenarios in situations that most women have experienced. The films were originally created by Israeli-American director Sigal Avin, but she asked her friend Schwimmer to adapt the films for an American audience.
The idea is genius because for so many men, they hear stories of harassment, but they don’t really understand what it means. Avin adds,
“I realized that I really wanted to see what sexual harassment was instead of hearing about it and reading about it all the time.”
The films will pair with a social campaign using the hashtag #ThatsHarassment to spread the word.
Speaking with Cosmo, the duo explained how they have personally been affected by sexual harassment. For Avin, the topic hits extremely close to home. In fact, the short “The Actor” is based on a personal experience in which she interacts with a famous actor.
For Schwimmer, he said,
“I grew up with stories of sexual harassment from my mom. Every woman in my family, in my life, has been harassed, except my daughter, thank god, who’s only 6.
Milk Studio co-founder Mazdack Rassi, who also became involved in the project recalled the reaction of his male coworkers.
“I showed it to a few male colleagues and some of them thought it was comedy at the beginning. They were just like, ‘Oh that was funny,’ especially when the guy pulls out [his penis]. And all of a sudden, there’s this moment, one of my friends was like, ‘This is not a comedy’ — and you start seeing what happens within them. If we can get men to watch this and they think about it, and perhaps they teach their sons about the gray zone, then we’ve also done a great service there too.”
That’s truly what’s great about the shorts — they show the how subtle sexual harassment can be.
Below is the first in the series. Click here to watch the other five shorts.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.