Though everyone is talking about the “Me too” campaign, many still lack awareness of what constitutes sexual harassment. While it is easy to identify explicit sexual abuse or violence, sexual harassment is often viewed as a grey area, even though it is not. Any sexual advances made towards a person without their consent, which make them uncomfortable, counts as sexual harassment.
But to clarify what constitutes harassment, actor David Schwimmer – beloved to Indians as Ross in the TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S. – collaborated with director Sigal Avin to make a series of PSAs (public service announcements) to help people identify and stop harassment.
The campaign, called #ThatsHarassment comprises six hard-hitting short films (above and below), which depict different instances of sexual harassment, all based on real-life stories. The films are shot in a voyeuristic manner, through windows or doors, and show chilling scenarios that may be relatable to many women.
“The current climate right now in this country...it feels like women and their advocates are fighting for basic human and civil rights,” said Schwimmer, further stating that predatory men often take advantage of power structures in the workplace and pressurise their subordinates into uncomfortable situations, as depicted in the series. “I really hope that men see these films as well, so they can learn ‘Oh, that’s not appropriate behaviour.’”
The makers aim to portray the “grey area” and help people understand that it, too, is unacceptable. One of the films (immediately below) may be the most impactful, as it also holds to account the people who witness sexual harassment and choose to ignore it.