Monica Lewinsky considers herself “patient zero” when it comes to online bullying and harassment. She was joked about constantly by late-night television host and politicians vilified her, but she is hoping her hardship will bring awareness to the underlying epidemic that is bullying. Lewinsky created a new PSA that has people talking.
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In January 1998, Lewinsky became a household name overnight after it was discovered she had sexual relations with former President of the United States Bill Clinton. The scandal rocked the United States and eventually led to the impeachment of Clinton later that year.
Lewinsky felt she could use her difficult time in the late 90s to help spread awareness of bullying, specifically in the online format.
According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of U.S. teens have faced online bullying, and many have argued it will become an epidemic if something is not done to stop it.
Lewinsky has partnered with “The Epidemic” to create a PSA about what effects cyberbullying can have on an individual. The 2-minute video starts with Haley, a girl who has a mysterious ailment that is stopping her from living her life.
As the video goes on, it’s discovered that she is being bullied relentlessly at school. This harrasment has seeped into her personal life with no end in sight. Eventually, the girl has had enough of the hateful comments hurled her way and decides the only way out is taking a bunch of prescription pills.
The girl is rushed to the hospital where doctors can be heard explaining they saved her life. At the end of the video, viewers are urged to submit their phone number to the PSA where they can receive text messages for what it’s like to deal with cyberbullying.
These text messages range from “U were born by mistake. Fix it,” to “Everyone hates u!” Bullying, especially cyberbullying, has become a real growing issue amongst younger Americans.
This is due in part to the overwhelming number of Americans who think being hateful online has no repercussions in real life. Lewinsky and “The Epidemic” is hoping to raise awareness of this issue. Check out the video below.