Avril Lavigne took a stand against bullying while also defending her estranged husband, Chad Kroeger, when she called out Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for slamming the band online. After Zuckerberg openly claimed in a video that “there were no good Nickelback songs," the singer took to Twitter to address his comments. "Your jab at Nickelback is in poor taste,” Lavigne wrote. “When you have a voice like yours, you may want to consider being more responsible with promoting bullying, especially given what’s going on in the world today.”
In 2011, Taylor Swift penned the anti-bullying anthem “Mean”, which slammed her parade of haters. "You can take me down with just one single blow, but you don't know, you don't know, someday I'll be living in a big old city and all you're going to be is mean."
After being bullied by her middle-school friends, Swift now uses her past to help some of her most vulnerable fans. In 2014, the star reached out to a teen named Hannah who was afraid of starting a new school year after being picked on for years. “I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you're crying because I've been in your place. This isn't a high school thing or an age thing. It's a people thing. A life thing,” Swift wrote. “It doesn't stop. It doesn't end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.”
For Kelly Osbourne, who grew up in the glare of MTV's cameras, bullying over her weight led her to abuse drugs and alcohol. “People would call and tell me to stop eating doughnuts because I was fat,” the reality star told US Weekly. “I would cry my eyes out. I hated myself.”
In order to cope, Osbourne turned to prescription drugs, which led to years of depression after dealing with the public ridicule.
In 2008, Anne Hathaway lent her support to anti-bullying organization The Trevor Project when she auctioned herself off for a night out with one lucky bidder. With bidding starting at $500, the prize of dinner and drinks netted a whopping $12,000.
Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project operates America’s only 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
“Modern Family” star Ariel Winter transformed into some of film’s most iconic bullies for a Cosmopolitan campaign to end bullying.
Posing as “Mean Girls” character Regina George and “Gossip Girl” queen bee Blair Waldorf, Winter insisted that “being mean to people is not cool […] And why I found it so awesome to do this shoot and play these characters is that I’m right now trying to speak out against bullying and people tearing others down, and I love that I got to play these characters and trump them in a sense.
“When I was younger, we didn’t have a lot of role models that were not Regina George–like. We didn’t have a lot of super-nice women who were just okay being themselves — didn’t have to dress in designer clothes, didn’t have to bleach-blonde their hair, didn’t have to limit themselves at every meal,” Winter continued. “That promoted a lot of insecurity. People love her so much because they’re like, ‘Wow, I wish I could be like her.’ … It’s just disappointing that that’s what they consider a perfect girl.”
“Home To Mama” singer Cody Simpson took a stand against bullying by taking part in the Defeat The Label campaign, which encouraged youth to perform acts of kindness in their schools and social circles. Opening up to The Age, the Australian star shed light on his own traumatic experience as a young, aspiring singer: "I've seen the severity of bullying, just being a regular kid coming from a regular school. It's a bigger problem for kids my age than drugs and alcohol,” he said. "I was teased a little bit for choosing a career path that not many kids do, a lot of kids were doing other things like joining the rugby team, but music was just something I loved."
Simpson continued: "I just learned very early to not care what other people think, the music teacher at my old school used to let me into the music room when everyone else was running off to do other things as it was just something that I loved."
Dwayne Johnson And Kevin Hart
“Central Intelligence” stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart took some time out of their busy schedules in 2016 to perform a top-secret mission, all in the hopes of spreading their anti-bullying message.
Johnson and Hart, who were both victims of bullying themselves, surprised 275 teenagers at a New York City high school and encouraged them to “push themselves towards greatness.”
“Our message to everybody here is to be great. If you are a person who’s been bullied, we encourage you to speak up,” Hart told the students. “You all have a bright future. You know why you have a bright future? Because you all are your own destiny.”
Canada’s own Justin Bieber shared his first-hand experience with bullying back in 2013 when the singer called out his biggest haters while speaking with Ryan Seacrest. “I’m becoming a man, but I’m still 19, I’m still finding myself and when I have the media attacking me every day it’s no [different] than bullying that happens in school, these people calling me names and saying things, and they don’t know what’s true or not,” Bieber said. “People forget I’m a human being.”
Much to the surprise of her devoted admirers, “Quantico” stunner Priyanka Chopra revealed in 2015 that she was once the victim of childhood bullying. “I had major self-esteem issues growing up and was always very nervous and scared as a kid. I was bullied in school. But I got up one day and said, 'Enough,'" she told New You magazine about experiencing racial bullying after moving to the United States at the age of 13. "The colour of my skin, the hair I have—there are so many things about me that may not be conventional. But as soon as I chose to own it and walk out the door wearing confidence, people looked at me differently."
She continued: “There was this bunch of girls who were just mean to me. When you are 14 and 15, it's a big deal to be called 'brownie' and hear, 'Go back to your country.' At the time, I was really scared […] I felt I could not deal with it and thought I should go home.”
Having faced bullies in her past, “Confident” singer Demi Lovato slammed the practice and offered her best advice for those living through similar situations. “At the end of the day, no one deserves to be bullied,” she told Seventeen. “I was bullied and I had to leave public school because of it. When you deal with bullies, I think it’s important to have a confidant in your life. I have a friend that I go to and I just vent about everything to her!”
“We R Who We R” singer Kesha spoke out against bullying in the hopes of helping suffering youth like her 13-year-old brother. "I'm all about standing up to gay/lesbian/transgender bullying, but it's also about my little brother. He’s 13 and he gets made fun of because he has a stutter,” she told Seventeen. “I just have zero tolerance for people making fun of others … I remember every person who told me I couldn’t do something or that I was ugly or too fat. I have a 'sh-t list' — people from my past who have been soulless and judgmental."
Prince William is making it his mission to take on online bullying in the all-new campaign #StandUpToBullying, which aims to raise awareness of the problem's detrimental effects. “Bullying is an issue which can affect any one of us, regardless of age, background, gender, sexuality, race, disability or religion. It can happen for many reasons and is often stupid and cruel and can take many forms,” he said in July 2016. “The reach of technology means it can feel unrelenting, leaving the victim feeling attacked, powerless and isolated. For young people, in particular, bullying can have a profoundly damaging and long-lasting affect.”
The future King of England is also a member of The Royal Foundation’s Cyber Bullying Taskforce.
Mother Monster is leading the charge against bullying through her Born This Way Foundation, which she founded in 2011 to "foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world."
“The Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan opened up about her childhood scars from bullying last year when taking the cover of Health. “Everybody kind of goes through some phase, and it’s hard if you’re singled out for anything,” the 34-year-old shared with the magazine. “But there was this one boy in particular who made fun of me and, it’s funny, then later, when we were 18 or 19, he wanted to go out with me.”
“I’ve definitely learned to let go of some of that,” she added. “One thing I always think about is, at the end of the day, nobody really cares about you as much as they do about themselves. It’s a very reassuring thing, in a good way.”
SNL's Leslie Jones was forced to quit Twitter in 2016 when the racial abuse and bullying became too much to handle. “I was in my apartment by myself, and I felt trapped,” Jones told Time about scrolling through the hateful messages she was subjected to after landing her role of Patty Tolan in 2016's all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot. “When you’re reading all these gay and racial slurs, it was like, I can’t fight y’all. I didn’t know what to do. Do you call the police? Then they got my email, and they started sending me threats that they were going to cut off my head and stuff they do to ‘N words.’ It’s not done to express an opinion, it’s done to scare you,” Jones said.
Former “Glee” actress Naya Rivera spoke out against bullying in the LGBTQ community as part of a 2011 campaign for GLAAD. “We’ve all been hurt by words before,” she said in the PSA. “So before you speak, think about how your words might affect someone else.”