For decades, women’s stories of harassment, assault, rape and abuse have been met with the same phrase: “He said. She said.” Four words that may seem like they’re intended to balance a story have been manipulated and used to upend countless accounts of wrongdoings.
In a beautifully simple new 30-second spot, which will debut Sunday during NBC’s coverage of the Golden Globe Awards, The New York Times uses that phrase on the screen over and over to create a profound message that questions its use.
Watching the spot, created by Droga5, it’s impossible to think of anything other than the Times’ investigative reporting of sexual harassment and assault cases involving prominent men, from Bill O’Reilly to Harvey Weinstein to Russell Simmons.
“The Times spent months investigating sexual harassment claims made against some of the most powerful people in entertainment, business and technology,” said A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, in a statement. “This groundbreaking work has been called some of the highest impact reporting of our time, prompting rapid reform in those industries and helping spark global movements like #metoo and ‘Times Up.’ The Times will continue to provide our journalists with the time and support they need to hold powerful people to account and pursue the truth without fear or favor.”
The campaign is a powerful recognition of the work that the reporters have done—though it would be easier to champion it if the Times had a different response to its own reckoning with sexual harassment allegations against reporter Glenn Thrush.
Last year, during the Academy Awards, Droga5’s “The Truth Is Hard” campaign made a statement about the importance of journalism.
The new campaign will include print and digital, which you can see below.
Client: The New York Times