In a jarring swerve from the man we've known and loved as Ross Geller on Friends, actor David Schwimmer stars in a short film about sexual harassment as part of the #ThatsHarassment campaign. According to the press release, the #ThatsHarassment campaign wants to "illustrate various environments in which harassment occurs to increase awareness of harassment in our society." The film, titled "The Boss," is one of six films made for the series, which "will provide viewers with resources to easily pinpoint instances of harassment amongst them, as well as begin a conversation about this important issue during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month."
Each short film is a few minutes long and depicts situations in various workplaces between men and women, where women can easily become the target of sexual harassment from their male peers. In "The Boss," Schwimmer plays a lawyer who needs help finding something on his computer. He calls his female co-worker (played by Atlanta star Zazie Beetz) into his office to see if she can assist. While chatting to her about her new job, Schwimmer's character takes things a bit too far.
"The Boss," like the other five short films, is shot through what appears to be a window with the blind open; undoubtedly this choice was made by director Sigal Avin as a way to ramp up the alienating effect of the events which unfold. For female viewers, watching "The Boss" may feel especially uncomfortable because of the workplace dynamics it depicts and how quickly situations can go from good-natured to disturbing.
Schwimmer's character may be representative of someone you know. You may have never had a boss or co-worker like Schwimmer's before. Either way, "The Boss" is not only chilling, it is instructive in learning how to identify behavior patterns that could possibly lead to sexual harassment. The viewer watches these events unfold, ultimately leading up the sexual harassment of Beetz's character, and experiences the deeply uncomfortable situation she is put through without her consent.
All six of the #ThatsHarassment short films are available over on Cosmopolitan magazine's YouTube channel for you to watch now. The entire campaign is a worthy cause and for women in the workplace, it's especially important.