David Schwimmer Protected His Friends Against Sexual Harassment: 'We Were Not Going to Let Anything Like That Happen'
David Schwimmer is taking a stand against sexual harassment in the TV and film industry.
Sitting down with Cosmopolitan for a #ThatsHarassment — “a new video series depicting instances of sexual harassment against women,” according to the website — panel on Wednesday, Schwimmer discussed the reality of sexual harassment against women in entertainment.
Recently, Schwimmer’s Friends costar Lisa Kudrow revealed that at one point on the ’90s sitcom, a male guest star told her ” ‘Oh wow, now you’re f—able’ ” when she came to set with full hair and makeup after a week of rehearsing au naturel.
Though Schwimmer admitted to not not knowing “the person she was referring to” and that he hasn’t “spoken to her about it, so I can’t really speak to that,” he did assure that the Friends cast and crew would not tolerate sexual harassment on set.
“Our set was really, pretty cool. I mean, I think it was one of the better ones, I have to say,” Schwimmer, 50, said in response to what the environment of TV sets in the ’90s was like.
“And that’s, I think in part because of who we were as actors and also because of the executive producers on that show were not going to let anything like that happen,” he said, and added, “But again, on other shows and other sets, it was worse.”
According to Schwimmer, he believes that the size of a production plays a role in what goes on behind-the-scenes.
“I think it’s better at the bigger studios when there’s more oversight and, frankly, accountability with the production,” he said. “But with independent filmmaking, or now where everyone’s making movies, quote on quote … there’s very little regulation and accountability. So I’m not saying that it’s not happening anymore — it’s absolutely happening — but there’s so much fear now because of accountability that the bigger the studio, the less likely it’s going to happen on their watch or on their set. Same with television.”
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Last August, Schwimmer opened up about the success of Friends — and why he felt overwhelmed by being one of TV’s most recognizable faces.
“The effect of celebrity was the absolute opposite: It made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen,” he admitted.
“And I realized after a while that I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide,” he continued of his revelation. “So I was trying to figure out: How do I be an actor in this new world, in this new situation? How do I do my job? That was tricky.”