President Obama’s anti-bullying campaign has garnered another ally. MTV announced on Thursday (March 10) at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention that it will air an original TV-movie based on the true story of bully-victim Abraham Biggs.
MTV joins Britney Spears, who tweeted on Wednesday that she would also be joining forces with the president and Michelle Obama in their efforts to prevent bullying.
The new movie, which has yet to be titled, will revolve around the lives of four teens whose paths cross unexpectedly on one eventful night. The film takes its inspiration from the story of Abraham Biggs, a 19-year-old Florida college student who suffered from bipolar disorder.
In November 2008, Biggs wrote on an online bodybuilding forum that he planned to take his own life, and posted a suicide note with a link to his live webcast on Justin.tv, where he proceeded to take a large amount of antidepressants. Viewers did not take his suicide seriously and egged him on, cracking jokes about it. No one notified the police until he was visibly unconscious, and the webcast continued until they arrived.
“We’re happy MTV is sharing Abraham’s story with the world,” said Doreen Biggs, Abraham’s mother. “We hope that young people realize just how powerful the Internet can be, and that this film drives them to take action to put an end to cyberbullying so no family ever has to go through something like this again.”
The film, which will premiere on MTV channels globally, will highlight the importance of responsible online behavior as part of MTV’s ongoing “A Thin Line” campaign to stop bullying. The project urges young people to be conscious of the line between digital use and digital abuse.
Bullying has been in the national spotlight after a spate of highly publicized suicides by young adults in recent years. Many celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Madonna, Jim Carrey and Perez Hilton have all come out to share their experiences of getting bullied or urged action to prevent bullying. Other anti-bullying campaigns, like the “It Gets Better” video project, have also met with strong support from stars like Adam Lambert, Kim Kadashian and Chris Colfer.