Last week some of the stars of ABC Family’s most popular shows gathered to give their support for Delete Digital Drama. The initiative, which was started to spread awareness of the growing epidemic of cyberbullying, was created by the network in partnership with Seventeen magazine. Emily Osment from “Cyberbully,” Vanessa Marano and Katie LeClere from “Switched at Birth,” Tyler Blackburn and Shay Mitchell from “Pretty Little Liars,” Skyler Samuels and Grey Damon from “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” and Daren Kagasoff from “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” have joined the campaign to help kids overcome digital abuse. On Thursday, July 14 in the Burbank-adjacent town of Glendale, California, they gathered to greet fans and spread the message the bullying is not okay and that it can be stopped.
The ABC Family stars discussed their personal experience with bullying
Kids have been bullied (probably) since the beginning of time. Most people have experienced it in their lives. Tyler Blackburn pointed out, “Everybody experiences bullying in some capacity and it really can break you down as a person. And in this day and age we should be helping each other, building each other up.”
But with the advent of the Internet, there is more anonymity, making bullying even more widespread. Emily Osment noted, “Because we have platforms like Facebook and Twitter and MySpace it’s easier to be accessed. It’s easier to spread hate. It’s easier to become a bully and people don’t know that. They could be a bully right now and they may not know.”
Katie LeClere professed, “I was bullied as a kid and picked on and made fun of and it really at the time felt like you’re all alone in this and it’s really, really cool to be a part this and to show support for not encouraging that type of behavior.”
But bullying doesn’t just happen to teenagers. Grey Damon conceded, “People still say things about you, especially when you’re in the public eye, which I’m okay with. But when you’re younger it can be more hurtful.”
Grey’s Chloe King co-star Skyler Samuels also still faces issues online herself, “I actually opened a Twitter page about a month ago for the show, talking with fans and what not, and it’s been really great. But I’ve encountered cyberbullies. People have commented meanly or said nasty things, but I’ve learned cyberbullies — they’re cowards. You’ve just got to push them aside.”
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Watch all of these actors in their shows on ABC Family. “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central. See “Switched at Birth” on Monday nights at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central. Take in “Pretty Little Liars” on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. Central and catch “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central. Check your TV listings for airings of Emily Osment in “Cyberbully.”
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