A parody music video made by law students that addresses sexual harassment in the workplace has gone viral.

The Wellington Law Revue parody of English singer Dua Lipa's hit New Rules was viewed 30,000 times within 24 hours of being posted on Facebook yesterday.

The video targets sexual harassment in the New Zealand legal profession, following allegations against lawyers at several high-profile firms in Wellington earlier this year.

Each year the Wellington Law Revue stages a comedy show and skits based on social events, and the video was created to promote the event.


*** CW: References to sexual assault and harassment *** Our extremely talented team have spent the last few months writing, recording and filming to put this MUSIC VIDEO together. Sung by our very own Leilani Taula, we think the legal profession is well overdue for a few NEW RULES in the workplace. #metoo

Posted by Wellington Law Revue on Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Co-producer of the video and fifth-year Wellington law student Henry Law said sometimes the video was purely satirical and other times it addressed serious concerns.

"This year we felt it was important for us to produce a cathartic response that was pro victim and pro women.

"We knew we had to be really careful about the sensitive subject matters but we knew we wanted to send a message to continue the conversation that sexual harassment in the workplace is just not okay, and this endemic problem really hasn't ended."

Law and the video's other co-producer, Sarah Bradley, were surprised when the post exceeded more than their expected "50 likes" on Facebook.

"It's kind of blown up a little bit more than we expected."

Law student Leilani Taula, also a budding singer, sings the lead vocal in the music video, playing a human resources manager reprimanding lawyers for harassing young clerks.

In the lyrics she lays down the law with these new rules:

• "One, no dirty jokes, unwanted touches, hugs or gropes";


• "Two, if she's out of it that means she isn't into it";

• "Three, it's a work event, they shouldn't wake up in your bed in the morning";

• "And if there's no consent, well then you're just assaulting them".

Law said the students began writing the show and video in February, after allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour toward summer interns at Russell McVeagh were revealed.

"The allegations were of sexual misconduct against several individuals within large Wellington law firms.

"So obviously that's important to us as Wellington law students because everybody knew somebody who knew somebody that was potentially a victim of, not necessarily those allegations, but of sexual harassment in general.

"So when the allegations broke it was this huge deal because everyone was like, 'oh fantastic', this thing that's been talked about in the shadows for so long can finally come out."

Young male law students pretend to be outraged in the Wellington Law Revue music video parody on sexual harassment that's gone viral. Photo / Wellington Law Revue
Young male law students pretend to be outraged in the Wellington Law Revue music video parody on sexual harassment that's gone viral. Photo / Wellington Law Revue

At the same time the surge in the #MeToo movement gained momentum in New Zealand and Wellington law researcher Zoe Lawton began a blog enabling anonymous reporting by people working in the legal profession of their experience of sexual harassment.

"It's quite harrowing how many posts people put up saying 'this has happened to me'. From people aged 65 who were partners, down to 23-year-old graduates."

The video, filmed last week, references the blog and makes a threat to "burn down law firms and kill all men" - not meant to be taken seriously.

It finishes with Taula winking to the camera and asking "Can't you take a joke?" - a play on what a sexual predator might say to a victim.

The Wellington Law Revue runs from September 13-15 at the Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn campus.