Watch: David Schwimmer's short film 'The Boss' explores workplace harassment
Short film The Boss, which features Friends star David Schwimmer, tells the story of an incident of workplace harassment where a male boss gets away with forcibly kissing a subordinate.
It is part of a six video campaign called That's Harassment, which portrays real stories of harassment that have taken place at six locations, from a doctor's clinic to a casting session and even a bar.
In the film, Schwimmer's character often violates his subordinate's personal space and touches her in a manner that is not considered appropriate at the workplace. After making some small talk about her experience at the company, he forcibly kisses her.
She informs him that she has a boyfriend, to which her boss responds by saying, "That's okay. I'm married." He goes on to hold her shoulders and tells her that the kiss was his way of showing her how much he appreciates her. He keeps reiterating that nothing has happened. He insist on hugging her and gives her a peck on the cheek.
The film is effective in making the point that despite the perpetrator saying that his actions were not meant to make the victim feel uncomfortable, his actions still count as harassment.
Apart from acting in this video, Schwimmer is also the producer of the campaign. Director Sigal Avin first launched this campaign in Israel and then approached Schwimmer when he wanted to bring the project to the US. David, who has a six-year-old daughter, said that he was concerned by the "countless stories" of harassment he had heard from the women in his life, including his mother.
He said that considering the existing tensions over women's rights and harassment in America, this was the perfect time to launch the campaign.
Schwimmer and Avin say that the campaign is aimed at bringing men into the conversation about harassment. “I really hope that men see these [videos] as well, so they can learn, ‘Oh, that’s not appropriate behavior,’” he said in an interview.
Watch The Boss here: