David Schwimmer, Zazie Beetz, Emmy Rossum, and more feature in new Starz TV special
What began as a film campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment will now debut on Starz as a primetime special.
Created by Sigal Avin and actor David Schwimmer, #ThatsHarassment is a series of short films that dramatizes real instances of harassment in the workplace. While all six are available to watch on the campaign’s Facebook page, Starz announced on Tuesday that the series will air on the network as a half-hour special on Friday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT and again at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Schwimmer and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) star in the first short that depicts a situation with a handsy boss who doesn’t take no for an answer. Emmy Rossum (Shameless) and Harry Lennix (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) act out another incident involving a journalist and a politician.
Avin originated the idea when she created a series of short films tackling sexual harassment in Israel. When she shared them with Schwimmer, he wanted to create something for the U.S.
Avin and Schwimmer made their American adaptation with Milk makeup cofounder Mazdack Rassi and producers Billy Dec and Tessa Travis.
Other short films that, again, are based on real-life incidents focus on “The Photographer” (with Ant-Man‘s Bobby Cannavale and newcomer Anna Van Patten), “The Doctor” (with Sex and the City‘s Cynthia Nixon and House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly), “The Coworker” (with The Good Wife‘s Mamie Gummer and Power‘s Joseph Sikora), and “The Actor” (with Cars 3‘s Cristela Alonzo and The Americans‘ Noah Emmerich).
Van Patten told Cosmopolitan that as a newcomer to Hollywood, she was unfamiliar with the rampant sexual harassment that’s been exposed in recent months, so she relied on advice from Rossum and Nixon.
“I feel like these videos are going to encourage people to speak up,” Van Patten said. “I think women and girls feel like they can do that more now. But still, if I’m walking down the street and I get catcalled, very rarely will I say something because I don’t want to [engage], I just want to keep walking. But it’s not okay. Women feel like they’re not worthy but they are. That’s just how society has implanted this idea. It’s stuck.”
Watch the shorts above.