Two years ago, during my time at Sheridan, I was deeply inspired by the events surrounding Amanda Bynes and the media black lash she experienced while going through a very personal struggle.
The child actress was said to have been struggling with mental issues, though this is only allegedly, and has not been truly confirmed. Whether or not these rumours were true, the extremely sensitive situation was exploited online through social media, with spectators feeling obligated to comment on her every move.
I made this video, a few months after the death of Robin Williams, one of my favourite actors/comedians from my childhood. It was odd to me that Bynes’ mental health issues were beingmocked and exploited, while the world mourned the death of someone who also struggled tragically. It was then I realized that online bullying can affect anybody. Just because you possess a certain title, does not mean you are insusceptible to harsh comments, racism, shaming or death threats.
Sadly, we live in a digital culture, where access to onlooker commentary is so incredibly attainable, that we have become immune to the complications.
If I felt it was necessary, I could Tweet at my favourite artist, letting them know how much I admire their new album. Unfortunately, with the good, comes the bad, and the same accessibility to spread hatred and antagonism certainly exists.
Whether you are a celebrity, an athlete, political figure or an average person, with the click of a button, you are allowing yourself to be the subject of any feedback, or criticism, whether you ask for it, or not. And sadly, there are a lot of mean people out there.
The most recent target of online bullying has been one of my favourite actors growing up, Corey Feldman.
After performing with his new band Corey's Angels, on the Today show last month, Feldman became the subject of an absolute storm of online hate. The performance instantly went viral, with reputable and esteemed outlets bashing the star with harsh criticism. Sadly, a lot of viewers felt the need to comment on Feldman's aesthetic and demeanour, rather than focusing on his message. This, to me, is also confusing, as the same people preach the topic of putting an end to shaming others for their appearance.
In a now-deleted Facebook video, Feldman claimed Twitter users had told him to kill himself over his performance. He broke down as he admitted that he’s been down that road before.
Well, Corey is not letting the haters bring him down again.
The Goonies star decided returned to the Today show yesterday to “Take a Stand” against online bullies. The song, literally titled “Take A Stand” is from his new album Angelic 2 the Core.
"We're doing something new that hasn't been done before," Feldman told NBC's Tamron Hall. "But it's all about innovation and being an artist, and we can't be afraid to share our art. This song by the way is for America. We are at a time right now where the world needs to focus really on peace and love and tolerance."
I am sad that someone I admired so much growing up has to deal with so much hate for doing something they love. It broke my heart when Amanda Bynes’ mental health was exploited of the world to gawk at. It hurt me to know the pain Robin William’s was hiding behind. I’m sympathetic towards celebrities and important figures who have to take a break from the spotlight to save their mental state.
I am writing this piece to encourage those who feel the need to bully others, via social media, or in person, to stop and realize the implications of what they are doing.
Just because someone is on TV, doesn’t make them immune to bullying, name calling, or heart break. My thoughts go out to Corey Feldman, and any of those affected by online bullying.
- L x