Sony Pictures employees to gay youth: It Gets Better

SPE staffers join outreach to LGBT youth

Employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment have added their voices to the It Gets Better Project, the outreach initiative to LGBT youth who are struggling with social and familial pressures because of their sexuality.

Last fall, columnist Dan Savage launched the drive to have people create short Internet videos featuring a simple message of hope — “it gets better” — for those facing harassment, in response to a rash of suicides by LGBT youths.

Pixar employees were among the first to create a powerful video for ItGetsBetter.org. Sony Pictures staffers uploaded their offering to the site earlier this month.

Sony’s vid was spearheaded by Andrew Paskoff, a production exec for Sony Pictures TV’s international networks wing. It was organized through the Out@SPE group formed last year as part of a corporate push for employees to foster resource and support groups based around common interests and backgrounds.

The vid was shot on the lot Dec. 6 and edited by Sony’s inhouse media services group. It features 26 employees sharing personal experiences with coming out, surviving bullying, gaining awareness of themselves and, most of all, assuring youths who may be struggling that life will get better in time.

“When the ‘It Gets Better’ videos were being passed around, I thought it was a great idea and we all wanted to make sure the entertainment industry was well represented,” Paskoff said. “The response inside and outside the studio has been nothing but supportive.”

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