#ThatsHarassment is a six-part short film series that was created, written and directed by Sigal Avin.
Not intended to be viewed in any particular order, it is designed to realistically portray the type of harassment women encounter on a daily basis.
It is hands-down, unquestionably, absolutely essential viewing.
The video series depicts how quickly sexual harassment can happen and how common it is for women to repeatedly brush these encounters under the rug – or worse – blame themselves. While not intended to diminish the sexual harassment that men face (which is also real and awful), the series shines an uncomfortably bright spotlight on the female struggle. The films are based on real events and highlight the power dynamic between the sexes, in particular how quickly circumstances escalate or are exploited.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, Avin states, “I realized that I really wanted to see what sexual harassment was, instead of hearing about it and reading about it all the time… 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 partners with her friend, actor David Schwimmer of “Friends” fame to bring the the series to life. Schwimmer appears in “The Boss” below and expressed in an interview with Cosmo that the stories were personal to him. Every woman in his family with the exception of his young daughter has been sexually harassed at some point in their lives. “When you’ve been objectified your entire life and become accustomed to being (treated as) a second class citizen in many, many ways – constantly told that you aren’t worth the same as men, basically, and that your body comes first or what you look like comes first – it makes a lot more sense to me that a lot of women don’t even recognize when they’re being harassed… Because you spend your whole life not being treated with the kind of respect that men are automatically given.”
Below are all six short videos from the #ThatsHarassment campaign.
Warning: they are very difficult to watch.
“The Actor” storyline is inspired by a personal experience that director Sigal Avin had many years ago.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual harassment or the issues raised in the videos, please visit the That’s Harassment Facebook page for a list of resources and contact details.
Please know that you are not alone.