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Exclusive: 'Mad Men' cast to host Rape Treatment Center brunch

September 21, 2011 |  8:30 am

"Mad Men" cast and creator Matthew Weiner

The cast of "Mad Men" will celebrate a full week with their hands on another Emmy for outstanding drama series by giving back: The stylish gang will host a fundraiser for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center's Rape Treatment Center this Sunday, at the Beverly Hills estate of magnate Ron Burkle.

The cause, which champions care for victims of rape and sexual abuse as well as prevention, will be represented by series creator Matthew Weiner and stars Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Aaron Staton and Vincent Kartheiser.

Weiner was initially approached to participate by longtime RTC supporter Slattery, who plays agency honcho Roger Sterling on "Mad Men."

"When John asks me to do something, I do it," Weiner told the Ministry.

Thankfully so, as the Rape Treatment Center encourages an open dialogue about rape, still one of the most underreported crimes in the country, according to RTC head Gail Abarbanel.

"Over the course of the RTC's history, television story lines have been effective in changing attitudes," Abarbanel said. "Mad Men" has certainly tackled the issue, particularly with Hendricks' character Joan Holloway, whose fiance forced himself on her in the show's second season.

"It’s been very interesting because we’re really telling human stories. We don't go out of our way to make political statements," Weiner said. "We’ve had a lot of sexual violence on the show. Unfortunately, in the most civilized countries, this happens. Telling the story about Joan was a part of that."

Indeed, as a period drama, "Mad Men" doesn't shy from gender inequality in and out of the workplace.

The show "really has a connection to what we do and to the beginning of the rape center," Abarbanel said. "What they portray in the '60s is really what we confronted in the '70s. All the attitudes in the treatment of women ... attitudes about victims, some of them, still persist today."

The RTC and the "Mad Men" gang will work toward changing that come Sunday.


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-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: The cast and crew of "Mad Men" including, from left, Elisabeth Moss, Rich Sommer (back row), Jon Hamm, Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks, visit in the press room after winning the Emmy for outstanding drama series on Sunday. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images