As Schwimmer told the hosts of “The View” on Tuesday, he worked with his friend, director Sigal Avin, on a series of six short videos meant to put a face on sexual harassment. Avin launched a similar campaign in Israel, and then reached out to Schwimmer to bring the project to America. The “Friends” actor said he felt that with the current tensions in the country over the topic of women’s rights and harassment, it was the perfect time for the project.
“We’ve seen a lot of sexual violence in the media, but we’ve not seen this particular grey area of sexual assault, where it’s about power and a certain dynamic,” Schwimmer said on “The View.
Each “That’s Harassment” video portrays a situation in which sexual harassment might occur, from the doctor’s office to a corporate workplace to a casting session. All of the videos are based on true stories, acted out by notable actors like Cynthia Nixon, Grace Gummer and Emmy Rossum, and are posted on the campaign’s Facebook page.
One spot, “The Doctor,” struck a personal note for Schwimmer’s mother.
“She, for the first time, told me that after seeing ‘The Doctor’ film that she was sexually harassed by one of her doctors,” he said. “And my sister, when she was a young woman, was sexually harassed by her doctor. Like, I didn’t know either of those things.”
Though one of the short films, titled “The Co-Worker,” features a line referencing President Donald Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” remarks, Schwimmer has remained adamant that the campaign “is not a partisan ‘liberal Hollywood throwing their arms up against Trump’ issue,” as he told Cosmopolitan.
“That’s not what this is,” he continued. “Having said that, I found [President Trump’s] boasting of committing sexual assault really disturbing. I think our leaders have to demonstrate a certain kind of character. When I think about my daughter, I find that difficult to explain.”
Trump declared April to be Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, a move that sparked some raised eyebrows considering that more than 15 women have publicly accused him of sexual assault.
Both Schwimmer and Avin say that one of the main goals of the “That’s Harassment” campaign is to bring men into the conversation.
As Schwimmer said on “The View”: “I really hope that men see these [videos] as well, so they can learn, ‘Oh, that’s not appropriate behavior.’”