By Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
On July 17, ABC Family is premiering a very important movie for teens. “Cyberbully” starring Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana” and “Spy Kids 2”) tells the story of a young girl verbally attacked so viciously on an Internet social networking site that she falls into a deep depression. We spoke with Osment about the film and about her anti-bullying efforts in an exclusive interview.
Emily stated, “I think it’s extremely important to try to create awareness of the cause. [The film] allowed me to express myself and be creative and to do what I love as well as raise awareness of cyberbullying.” She hoped kids watching the film would take away one message, “The most important thing is that you need to learn that you’re not alone.” The actress also noted, “It’s a great movie for parents because a lot of the time parents don’t know how to deal with a kid if they’re being bullied and they don’t know what to say and they don’t know how to help.”
Emily also joined forces with other ABC Family star called “Delete Digital Drama.” She explained, “[It] is a really cool campaign that Seventeen magazine and ABC Family are teaming up to do. It involves a lot of stars from all of the ABC Family shows and also my film ‘s to take part in a program ‘Cyberbully’ and they got us all together and we spent a whole day talking about it and we spent a whole day taking little videos to raise awareness.”
And the actress Tweets and posts on Facebook on an almost daily basis to steer kids in the direction of resources. Emily pointed out, “It’s really ironic, I’m using the same format that these bullies use to bully to talk about bullying. So I’m using Facebook and Twitter for good. I get to reach out to over a million people everyday on Twitter and enlighten them with what I feel about cyberbullying and I what I think you can do to avoid it and the places you can visit online that are safe.”
She talked about one of the sites that she is involved in. “StompoutBullying.org truly is for kids who are being bullied and you can talk about it and you can express your feelings and what you’re going through.” She added, “All these kids are going through the exact same thing, they’re being picked on by other people. And hopefully that will give you an extra kick of self-esteem to help you get through your day at school or at home or wherever it may be happening. We’re just trying to truly delete it at ‘Delete Digital Drama.’ We’re trying to get rid of it.”
Emily said she feels like she is a kind of ambassador for these kids and is excited to be involved. “I’ve got a lot of hands in this pot when it comes to cyberbullying and I think that we can truly make a difference.”
Watch “Cyberbully” starring Emily Osment on ABC Family on Sunday, July 17 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central.