Public Service Announcements (or PSAs) are strange things. Some of them have been so tone deaf over the years, using weird imagery and language while trying to push kids to just say no to drugs or avoid the perils of teen sex. I still remember a PSA I saw as a kid about someone stealing condoms because they were too shy to buy them, with the messaging that if you aren’t mature enough to buy condoms, you aren’t mature enough to cope with the reality of sex. This latest batch of PSAs deal with sexual harassment, and they hit a little too close to home for me.
So often, sexual harassment and assault is depicted as strangers jumping out of bushes to flash people, or gross lecherous men groping teenagers on the subway. The reality of sexual harassment is much more nuanced. It’s usually from someone you know, perhaps in the workplace or from someone in a position of power. It is still harassment, and in a way even more insidious. David Schwimmer helped produce these new PSAs and they are well written, acted and filmed, and showcase some real star power as well. Here are a few that resonated with me.