Comedy website CollegeHumor created a video starring five popular male celebrities to bring awareness to the stigmatization and misunderstanding of sexual assault. In the video, the five men realize there is a bear in their house—and according to their statistics that mirror sexual assault statistics, one in five men get eaten by bears. “New Girl” actor Jake Johnson is the main character who tries to belittle the situation of getting killed by a bear, which parallels with the common belittling of sexual assault victims.
“[The bear] isn’t going to eat all of us ... Statistically, that doesn’t mean one of us, it means one in five people,” Johnson said. Johnson thinks of bear attacks as something that happens to other people and not something that could happen to the few people trapped in house with a bear. Sexual assault is something most people do not believe will ever happen to them, despite its common occurrence.
Additionally, Johnson said, “Hey, what happens between you guys and the bear is none of my business,” a common excuse people have when ignoring sexual assault. Because sex is involved, it is treated as if it is a private issue that others should not get involved in.
The video—while humorous—addresses multiple points in the fight against sexual assault. CollegeHumor is obviously directed at college students and sexual assault is a huge problem on college campuses. Both men and women are affected by sexual assault and they can both misunderstand the issue. The video is a good way to attract the right demographic to an issue that directly affects them.
Sexual assault is a serious issue, however, and humor is not always the best way to go about it. While we as college students may act immature sometimes, we are still adults and old enough to understand right from wrong. College students shouldn’t need a funny video with popular comedians to tell them sexual assault is serious and wrong.
The video shows an understandable and clear metaphor for sexual assault in a way that portrays its immediacy and seriousness, but humor shouldn’t be the preferred method of bringing awareness to sexual assault.