These Short Films Expose What Sexual Harassment Can Look Like In Real Life

It's time to take action.

Sexual harassment can occur any place and at any time, and it's important to be able to recognize when it's happening to you or someone else. That's exactly what this film series, coming from Israeli-American director Sigal Avin and Friends alum David Schwimmer, seeks to inform viewers about.

The six-film series, titled #ThatsHarassment, showcases vignettes of situations in which a woman is sexually harassed by a man in a higher position of power. Each is named for the position the man is in — "The Co-worker," "The Actor," "The Boss," "The Doctor," "The Photographer," and "The Politician." They are both poignant and difficult to watch.

"I realized that I really wanted to see what sexual harassment was instead of hearing about it and reading about it all the time," Avin told Cosmopolitan about the inspiration for creating the project. "There was nothing on it, everything was much more violent, or unreal, but there was nothing that showed the gray area of sexual harassment."

Avin enlisted the help of Schwimmer, who then reached out to Mazdack Rassi, co-founder and creative director of Milk Studios in New York City. The entire series was shot over one weekend and features famous faces such as Cynthia Nixon, Bobby Cannavale, Emmy Rossum, and Schwimmer himself — just to name a few.

The shorts don't need to be watched in any particular order as they just carry a central theme of a man completely demoralizing a woman in the workplace — with the example of "The Actor" being inspired by an instance that Avin herself experienced years ago. As for Schwimmer, he notes that all of the women in his family — save for his 6-year-old daughter — have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

The end goal, echoed by both Avin and Schwimmer alike — is to inspire and encourage victims to speak out so that progress against the issue can be made.

Recommended

"The Co-Worker," featuring Grace Gummer and Joseph Sikora:

"The Actor," featuring Cristela Alonzo and Noah Emmerich:

"The Boss," featuring Zazie Beetz and David Schwimmer:

"The Doctor," featuring Cynthia Nixon and Michael Kelly:

"The Photographer," featuring Anna Van Patten and Bobby Cannavale:

"The Politician," featuring Emmy Rossum and Harry Lennix:

April is Sexual Assault and Prevention Month. If you or a loved one is or believes they may be the victim of sexual harassment, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE or 800-656-4673 or visit www.rainn.org.

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