In collaboration with the White House, Funny or Die is releasing a PSA Tuesday starring Vice President Joe Biden, his signature aviator sunglasses, and Workaholics actor Adam Devine aimed at preventing sexual assault on college campuses.
The new video is one of over two dozen celebrity PSAs released since the White House launched the It’s On Us campaign two years ago to address campus rape. In the video, shared in advance with BuzzFeed News, Biden and Devine pose as undergrads at a college party. Eventually, the duo snag the microphone to deliver a message about preventing college sexual assault.
“So, like, if you see a buddy, and he’s talking to someone who’s too drunk to consent, you tell that buddy, like, ‘Yo, buddy, chill!’” Devine says. “And then you make sure that drunk person gets home safe, right?”
“Exactly — you’ve got this!” Biden responds. “It’s easy to make a difference this school year.”
The White House is hoping the video will lead to a boost in people taking the It’s On Us pledge to speak up to stop sexual assault. According to White House officials, 50,000 signed up after Biden plugged the pledge at this year’s Oscars, an 18% increase overall. A total of 344,406 have taken the pledge in the past two years, while over 430 colleges and universities have created their own PSAs for It’s On Us.
Biden is a chief spokesperson for the campaign, which will host its annual “week of action” starting Oct. 10. This week, he will host a training for the It’s On Us Student Advisory Committee and a reception for It's On Us and advocates who work on violence against women at his residence at the Naval Observatory, according to White House officials.
The VP said on The Tonight Show last week that It’s On Us arose out of feedback from college students saying they want to see a focus on men in preventing sexual assault.
"Any man who takes a drunk woman up the stairs in a fraternity house is a damn coward, man," Biden told host Jimmy Fallon. "There's nothing manly about this. They should get knocked on their ass. We’ve got to change the way we think about this. And I’m convinced the vast majority of men understand, and it’s about time we speak up, and we intervene when we see it."
Funny or Die has partnered on an anti-rape initiative before. In February, the site put out a video of supervillains calling some of our nation’s rape laws “evil” to drum up support for a “bill of rights” for sexual assault victims. That legislation passed both the House and Senate, and is expected to be signed soon by President Barack Obama.
A year ago, the White House worked with another comedy website, College Humor, for the video "What If Bears Killed One in Five People?" playing off the statistic that around 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence by the time they graduate college.
Last week, Biden appeared on an episode of Law & Order: SVU, where his lines touched on believing rape survivors and the difference that effective law enforcement can make, though it was not connected to the It’s On Us focus on colleges.
Tyler Kingkade is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.
Contact Tyler Kingkade at email@example.com.
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