Stars Weigh in on Bullying in America
The suicide of college freshman Tyler Clementi is sparking a national outcry against bullying.
The tragedy is on the cover of the new People magazine out Friday. The headline reads, "Deadly Bullying." The cover shows other victims of bullying who have taken their own lives in just the past month.
Backstage at Dancing With the Stars, bullying was the hot topic, with many contestants and their partners coming forward to say they were victims.
Brandy said, "I was actually bullied all of my childhood. I hated getting up in the morning to go to school."
Jennifer Grey said, "I think that bullying happens throughout one's whole life."
Dancer Derek Hough said, "I was bullied in school. Because I was a dancer and what not, and I was always the smallest kid."
Even the oldest contestant, 76-year-old Florence Henderson, has vivid memories of having been bullied as a child, saying, "I was the youngest of 10 children, a very poor family, and I was bullied and made fun of."
Big names coast-to-coast are joining the national dialogue. Every day more stars are posting heartfelt messages online in reaction to the string of gay teens committing suicide.
Neil Patrick Harris posted an online video saying, "For the love of Pete, there's no reason to harm yourself if something's going bad."
Anne Hathaway posted a video saying, "If you or a friend are feeling lost and lonely, there's someone who can help."
Comedienne Kathy Griffin doesn't pull any punches, saying, "All you anti-gay public leaders, and you know who you are, you all have blood on your hands."
NSYNC's Lance Bass, who's gay, admits to being a bully himself before he came out of the closet., saying, "When I was in high school in Mississippi, I was one of the first ones to jump on he bandwagon to make fun of a gay person, and look how I turned out."
And Project Runway's Tim Gunn makes this shocking admission:
"As a 17-year-old youth who was in quite a bit of despair, I attempted to kill myself."
Gunn says that he survived overdosing on over 100 pills. Speaking directly to gay youths, he had this to say:
"You have a lot...I get very emotional, people care about you, and I'm included in that group."
And booted star Margaret Cho danced in a rainbow fringe dress, to symbolize gay pride.
Cho said, "A lot of gay teenagers have committed suicide. We want this to end now."