Monday, October 20, 2014

Disney's Anti-Bullying Campaign #ChooseKindness

October is Bullying Awareness Month.

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While watching one my favorite ABC shows online recently, I saw an interesting anti-bullying ad put out by Disney, involving many of their stars donning t-shirts with anti-bullying messages and encouraging us to use the hashtag #ChooseKindness. Since bullying is an issue I have addressed on this blog before (read here and here), I looked into it more. As it turns out, Disney is doing an entire campaign this month around the issue. (For details, see their "Be Inspired" website.)

What I found particularly interesting is that they are not only putting out advertisements around the issue; they are also incorporating anti-bullying themes within the scripts of their television shows. Here are some sample clips I found:

Show Name: "Austin & Ally"

Show Name: "Girl Meets World"

I know that public health professionals have varying views on Disney as a whole (for example, some take issue with Disney's employment practices and affiliation with "The Other NRA"), and I am in no way trying to endorse them as a perfect company. And then, of course, there is the general philosophy (and evidence) that TV-viewing is not a particularly healthful behavior. (For more on that, see here, here, and here.)

But given the reality that kids watch an average of 4 hours of television per day,  I did want to share this one cool instance of public health social messaging making its way into mainstream media. I am thankful they are attempting something worthwhile through this campaign.

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