David Schwimmer Is Really Gross (for a Reason) in This Ad Council Campaign

Actor Executive Produced Short Films Based on Real-Life Sexual Harrassment Experiences

Published On
Jan 22, 2018

Editor's Pick

The Ad Council is highlighting sexual harrassment in a series of PSAs by "Friends" actor and producer David Schwimmer, and writer and director Sigal Avin.

Each of the films is based on real events, and depicts a scenario where a woman is a victim of sexual harrassment, sometimes at an unexpected moment. For example, Schwimmer himself stars in one film, seen here, playing a male boss talking to a young woman (played by Zazie Beetz) about her job, then suddenly lunging in to kiss her.

Another PSA, "The Coworker," stars Grace Gummer and Joseph Sikora, in a situation where a man makes a lewd suggestion to his female colleague at a bar. In "The Politician," (which has shades of the recent Michael Fallon scandal in the U.K.), a politician puts his hand on the knee of a journalist after an interview. Others feature a photographer (Bobby Cannavale) suggesting to a model (Anna Van Patten), "I want to see you pleasuring yourself"; a doctor, played by Michael Kelly, getting a little too suggestive with headache patient Cynthia Nixon and a Hollywood stylist (Cristela Alonzo) seeing too much of an actor (Noah Emmerich).

The PSAs, executive produced by Schwimmer, Avin and Mazdack Rassi of Milk Studios, are shortened versions of films that first launched in April 2017 and ran online on various publishing outlets. Beginning Friday, Jan. 26, the full-length short films and PSAs will be supported digitally and on television by media outlets including Amazon Prime Video, CBS, The CW, Fox Networks Group, Freedom, Hulu, Showtime and Starz.

"My mother, my sister, countless female colleagues and friends have all experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime," says Schwimmer in a statement. "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."