Celebrity Activism Series: Stand Up. Step in. Michael Raymond-James Fights Darkness With Love

“I often cry for people who I think (rightly or wrongly) feel that no one will cry for them.” – Michael Raymond James, Bullies Keep Out Interview (2014)

Written by Stephanie Lapointe


It’s safe to say everyone’s life has been touched by bullying in some way whether it was as a bystander, a target or even as the bully ourselves. It’s a ubiquitous issue that knows no borders, has no specific language and is commonly understood across all continents. The result, no matter where it comes from, is the same: it hurts us. It feels personal. It can destroy our self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

Bullies Keep Out Celebrity Ambassador and Advocate, Michael Raymond-James, known for his work on True Blood and Once Upon a Time, is passionate about the detrimental impact bullying can have because his heart aches when he sees people suffering and experiencing injustices. He wants to counter those feelings of despair and hopelessness with love.

Because his motivations for supporting anti-bullying campaigns comes from a place of empathy and sadness, his approach to this societal problem is to try to show that he can be a source of love for people who are suffering. Obviously, he can’t speak to every person, but he shows this love in how he communicates about the issue because sees a simple solution to bullying: show kindness, respect and love to everyone.

His deep passion for helping those who are in pain inspired him to create a powerful video on behalf Bullies Keep Out where he asked his friends, family and community to come together with a simple message: stand up. Stand up when you know someone is hurting, step in when you see someone being bullied, and most of all, remember to be kind first. One of the most meaningful moments in this video, for me, happened when he held up the sign that said, “I love them”. It sends the message that even though we all may be strangers, we’re also united in our struggles and our love shouldn’t know limits. We’re in this together.

The approach that Michael takes to addressing the impact of bullying is the type of activism that motivates people to stand up in harmony. It’s the kind of message that Martin Luther King Jr. sent when he was fighting for civil rights with love or Ghandi sent when he encouraged a movement of non-violence for India’s independence. It’s the approach of activism that inspires meaningful action and has a lasting impact for generations to come.

One person can’t end bullying, but as the message in the video expresses, if we all stand up together in harmony and show love to each other, we can help bring hope to our friends who have been hurt and are currently struggling. We can prevent this dark pattern of behavior in our communities. It’s within our reach to work together towards a kinder and more accepting future for the next generation of youth.

Along with Bullies Keep Out, Michael shows his support for so many issues that touch the lives of people: gun reform, struggling American veterans, environment, refugees, incurable diseases, etc. He’s the type of guy that when asked to join a cause that will help improve the life of someone, he’s there and ready to be part of the action. Some of the organizations he’s publicly supported include Oxfam America, Everytown, Make A Wish Foundation, and his friend’s charity, Clayne Crawford Foundation.

We are so lucky to have someone with as big of a heart as Michael’s to be such an important voice in the Bullies Keep Out movement. The depth of love he has to give and his willingness to use his platform to show fans of his that he cares has a positive impact. He’s type of person who everyone can look up to. And we do look up to him.









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