Cartoon Network continues its vital conversation with kids and families about speaking up against bullying with a special presentation of "The Bully Effect" on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 and 8 pm.
The program is produced in partnership with Cartoon Network as part of its award-winning "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" initiative and presented commercial-free. "The Bully Effect" is a half-hour CNN original documentary abridged for family audiences and features additional original content, including a special introduction by Cartoon Network President/COO Stuart Snyder as well as a candid conversation with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who hosts the documentary and is a recognized advocate for bullying prevention.
Concurrent with and immediately following both telecasts of "The Bully Effect,"author and renowned bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman will host an exclusive, live online chat at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com to answer questions from youth, parents and educators.
"The Bully Effect" chronicles the journey of 14-year-old Alex Libby, whose emotional life is both restored and wonderfully activated because someone spoke up in his defense against bullying.
In 2011, filmmaker Lee Hirsch embedded himself in schools across America and captured footage so raw and eye-opening, it sounded alarm bells and helped create a tipping point about how critical the issue of bullying has become. Hirsch documented a then 12-year-old Alex, who was confronted with slurs, threats and beatings on the school bus nearly every day. Following supportive intervention from an adult on his behalf, today he has become an anti-bullying rock star with appearances on national television and a visit to the White House.
“For three years now through Stop Bullying: Speak Up, Cartoon Network has served to provide valuable resources and materials to help educate and empower kids to speak up whenever bullying occurs,” said Snyder, president and COO for Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division.
“Our first documentary, Speak Up, illustrated what kids could do practically to help other kids who’ve experienced bullying. 'The Bully Effect' takes that message one step further, demonstrating how powerful empathy and understanding can be in helping to turn someone’s life around. I hope this program will encourage sensitive, open dialogue between kids, their parents and teachers and continue to show the impact when one speaks up against bullying.”
During and immediately following the Sunday telecasts, bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and families, answering viewer questions via an online chat at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com. To participate, youth and adults will need to either access or create a new user account at CartoonNetwork.com, providing an active email address and the user’s age. There is no need to download any software. Screen names will be anonymous and all comments or questions will be monitored for appropriate content.
“I am impressed that Cartoon Network has demonstrated a prolonged commitment to offer a diversity of programs specifically designed to help many different groups affected by bullying issues, from students and parents to educators and even legislators,” Wiseman said. “It is a privilege for me to work alongside an organization that recognizes the significance bullying plays in the emotional and social welfare of kids everywhere. I look forward to offering further help to those who have questions based on what they experience from watching this special presentation of 'The Bully Effect.'”
Following the live chat, "The Bully Effect" documentary will be posted in its entirety on the website starting Monday, April 29 at 10 am for free, ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders. Further viewing of "The Bully Effect" across multiple digital platforms will be available on YouTube.com and to cable and satellite customers through VOD for two weeks following the premiere telecast.
Cartoon Network also has enlisted Cable in the Classroom (CIC) to help promote both the special telecast of "The Bully Effect" and the concurrent online chat for families with Rosalind Wiseman to the education community and to schools across the country. Following its mandate of supporting visionary, sensible and effective use of media in homes, schools, and communities, CIC will encourage educators, students and their families to watch the commercial-free documentary presentation and to participate in educator-led discussions the following week.
Promotional support for "The Bully Effect" will include a heavy on-air rotation of Cartoon Network’s original PSAs created for its Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative two weeks leading up to the April 28 telecast. Messages targeted for both boys and girls will be feature the cast of Cartoon Network’s live-action comedy series Level Up. Additional celebrity call-outs encouraging kids to speak up against bullying include comedy actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family"), Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, plus sports icons Venus Williams ("World Tennis Champion") and Hope Solo ("Soccer Star").
Charlie Moore is the executive producer of "The Bully Effect" with Kerry Rubin as senior producer and Chuck Hadad as producer. Original music was created and performed by Justin Rice.