The Ad Council has joined with actor and producer David Schwimmer, writer and director Sigal Avin, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) to launch ‘#ThatsHarassment,’ a national campaign to empower victims and bystanders to speak out and provide tools for employers to create a safe work environment.
Beginning Friday, January 26, the full-length short films and PSAs will be supported digitally and on television by major media companies including Amazon Prime Video, CBS, The CW, Fox Networks Group, Freedom, Hulu, SHOWTIME and STARZ.
The PSAs, executive produced by Schwimmer, Avin and Mazdack Rassi of MILK Studios, are shortened versions of the films that first launched in April 2017. The Ad Council will nationally distribute 30-second cutdowns of three of the six originally launched films to media outlets nationwide this week, with 10 and 20-second cutdowns available on Extreme Reach and PSA Central. The films, written and directed by Avin, depict various cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, all based on real events. Schwimmer, Avin and Rassi created this project to highlight behaviors that are unacceptable and to end institutional silence and complicity. Additionally, 30-second versions will air across New York City on Taxi TV and NYC Media.
“My mother, my sister, countless female colleagues and friends have all experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime,” says Schwimmer. “Now I’m a father of a young daughter and I’m angry and concerned about the rise in, and our culture’s acceptance of, totally unacceptable behavior by men towards women. Men who demean, deride, discredit, harass and assault women – no matter what their position of power – need to be held accountable.”
The films, which take place in various professional settings in which sexual harassment can occur, depict different scenarios where men in positions of power cross the line. They include: “The Boss” starring Zazie Beetz and David Schwimmer, “The Coworker” starring Grace Gummer and Joseph Sikora, “The Politician” starring Harry Lennix and Emmy Rossum, “The Actor” starring Noah Emmerich and Cristela Alonzo, “The Doctor” starring Cynthia Nixon and Michael Kelly and “The Photographer” starring Bobby Cannavale and Anna Van Patten.
“The current conversation around sexual harassment is giving us an opportunity to inform, educate and ultimately end harassment and assault. We are proud to join forces with Sigal, David, RAINN, National Women’s Law Center and the media to help all of us—men and women—speak out, stop it and most importantly, prevent it,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council.
“Knowledge is key for change. For me, the biggest achievement of ‘#ThatsHarassment’ is giving harassment a face. Taking what some consider “a grey area” and making it clear, “that’s harassment.” The fact that there’s a visual aid to clarify and demonstrate what sexual harassment is, will minimize the phenomenon," Avin added.
The following media companies are providing support for the campaign:
• Amazon Prime Video
• The CW
• Fox Networks Group
Additionally, for the duration of 2018, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will air #ThatsHarassment PSAs on Taxi TV, bringing the campaign to video screens in 13,000 NYC taxicabs and generating well over 100,000 impressions per day. The PSAs will also run on NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network with a reach of over 18 million households.
“#ThatsHarassment is an incredible opportunity to further the conversation around sexual harassment and gender inequality in our society, and we are proud to expand the audience of this vital public awareness campaign in such a unique way on Taxi TV,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin.
The campaign also encourages employers to use the films for training to proactively address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Separately, in partnership with National Women’s Law Center, Schwimmer and Avin have created a digital toolkit for employers and are inviting them (including C-suite executives, HR directors, supervisors and managers) to use these films to educate, inform and ensure they are creating safe work environments and conditions for their employees. The Digital Toolkit can be downloaded at NWLC.org/ThatsHarassment and includes “10 Ways Your Company Can Help Prevent Harassment in the Workplace” as well as a Discussion Guide for employers to accompany the full-length films.
Every day, hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence and abuse; in fact, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates that one in four women face harassment in the workplace, and many are hesitant to report it. Sexual harassment is pervasive across industries, but especially in low-wage service jobs. For example, more than 25 percent of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC in the last decade came from industries with service-sector workers.
The PSAs drive viewers to RAINN, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and encourage viewers to call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org/ThatsHarassment. RAINN operates the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline, along with a live chat option.
To learn more about the campaign, visit RAINN.org/ThatsHarassment, like the page on Facebook and follow @ThatsHarassment on Twitter and the hashtag #ThatsHarassment. To get immediate, free support 24/7, call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).