UPDATE, Monday The Facebook page of Kimberly Jones has been closed to views following the surfacing of previous tweets. For details, go here.
Previous, Sunday Seems half of Hollywood is reaching out to Keaton Jones – meaning the other half just hasn’t yet seen the bullied Tennessee boy’s heartbreaking Facebook video.
If you haven’t been near a computer screen today, Keaton is the middle schooler whose tearful question – “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” – just might become a rallying cry of the anti-bullying movement.
On Friday, the boy’s mother, Kimberly Jones, posted the video on her Facebook page, shortly after picking up Keaton from school because her son was too afraid and upset to go to lunch. The Knoxville, Tennessee, boy describes having milk poured on him and being called ugly for the head scars left from a tumor operation.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?,” Keaton asks. “What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay. It’s not okay! People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.” The boy also says, “They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”
In a message accompanying the video, Kimberly Jones wrote, “My kids are by no stretch perfect, and at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
Within 24 hours the post had been viewed more than 10 million times and is closing in on 20 million, a roster of viewers that includes Hollywood actors and stars of hip hop, country music, athletes and Beltway pundits.
“Stay strong, Keaton,” tweeted Chris Evans. “Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year?
“Little buddy,” wrote Ruffalo, “I was bullied when I was a kid. You are right #ItGetsBetter! You are my own personal super hero. Protect Yo Heart. You got a pal in the Hulk.”
Tweeted Mark Hamill, “They’re just jealous because you’re so smart & handsome.”
“Add me to your long list of friends Keaton,” tweeted Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Hey Keaton…I just wanted to say I think you are amazing…I would love for you to be my date to the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere on Tuesday,” Hailee Steinfeld said in a video posted on Twitter.
Others reaching out include Patrick Adams (Suits), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kevin Jonas, Cardi B and, well, take a look for a sample of a roster that’s growing by the minute: