Indy 500 to play PSA about sexual harassment on the Jumbotron
by Marissa Payne
Female Indy 500 entrants Pippa Mann and Simona de Silvestro may be equal to men behind the wheel, but because they’re women, they still might run into unfair treatment in their everyday lives.
Well, one global human rights group is doing its best to change what it calls a “culture of sexual harassment and violence against women” by showing an anti-discrimination PSA on the Jumbotron during Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This is the second year the group, named Breakthrough, will show the PSA, which was created in 2013 after they were contacted by Grazie Media, which programs video boards for various sports organizations.
The partnership “was perfect for us,” Breakthrough Vice President of Communications Lynn Harris told The Washington Post on Thursday.
While the animation is tailored to racing fans, “we’re not saying that racing fans are harassers,” Harris said. “We’re actually saying the opposite.”
Harris said her group has found that 80 percent of men, including racing fans, feel uncomfortable when women are disrespected in front of them. She said the ad simply urges all the good guys in the bunch to speak up if they see something untoward.
“Sports fans are saying, ‘Hey that’s not OK,’ whether it’s domestic violence or individual boneheaded behavior,” Harris added. “Everyone is thinking the same thing, you just have to be the one to say it.”
The 99th edition of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday. The race will air on ABC.
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