Friends star David Schwimmer made a bunch of important videos about sexual harassment last year and they’ve been doing the rounds in 13,000 cabs across New York City.
“My mother, my sister, countless female colleagues and friends have all experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime,” David said when the ads were initially released. “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.”
With all we have seen this week in the news about sexual assault and US stats showing 1 in 4 women face some form of sexual harassment in the workplace, it seems there’s never a wrong time to re-visit these videos. They take place in various professional settings – a boss’s office, a politician’s room, a doctor’s surgery – and in each one there’s a story of a man in a position of power crossing the line. In each one, an example of what harassment looks like in the workplace.
Together with Sigal Avin, an Israeli writer and filmmaker, and Mazdack Rassi, owner of New York City’s Milk Studios, plus the help of some famous friends including Cynthia Nixon and Emmy Rossum, the short films bring to life 6 #metoo moments. In one of them David plays the sexual predator himself – quite confronting actually, given we are so used to seeing him as the playful Ross Geller on Friends. But perhaps, that’s exactly what makes it so effective:
What do you think of these videos? I’d love to hear your thoughts.