White House’s Powerful New PSA Implores Men to Stop Sexual Assault Before It Happens

Part of 'It's on Us' campaign

The White House's new PSA is a call to action for men who see sexual assault about to happen, and asks them to do something to stop it.

As part of the ongoing "It's on Us" campaign, which President Obama has said is about "condemning sexual assault as loudly as we should," the new spot is focused on a party bystander who sees a young man stop a woman from leaving the party when she'd like to.

The ad comes as colleges and universities across the country enter into a National Week of Action, from Nov. 17-21, geared to motivate students to get involved in the "It's on Us" campaign. According to White House research, bystander intervention programs help to change social norms and teach people to speak out.

"Bystander involvement can be very important, and oftentimes men underestimate other men's attitudes toward violence," Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president, tells BuzzFeed. "They don't understand that other men are opposed to violence, too. So if they get the sense that it's OK [to intervene] because everyone else around the room feels the same way you do, the first person who gets up will inspire the next person to get up, and the next person and the next person."

The self-aware PSA isn't too wordy, though it does employ Jon Hamm's velvety pipes. 


Agency: Mekanism

Chief Executive Officer, President: Jason Harris

Creative Director: David Horowitz

Head of Strategy: Eric Zuncic

Design Director: Albert Ignacio

Associate Director, Brand Manager: Caroline Moncure

Senior Producer: Kati Haberstock

Creative Technology Director: Sean Cosier

Senior Producer: Amber Cope

Production Company: Park Pictures

Director: Vincent Haycock

Executive Producer: Mary Ann Marino

Producer: Alex Fisch

Executive Producer: Jackie Kelman Bisbee

DP: Lance Acord

Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post

Editor: Adam Robinson

Assistant Editor: Devon Bradbury

Executive Producer: Joni Williamson

Producer: Kristin Branstetter

Finishing Company: Carbon VFX

Lead Flame:  Pete Mayer

Executive Producer: Marlo Baird Kinsey

Associate Producer: Nick Vassil