Chris Gauthier Shuts Down Bullying

Interview by Dana Jacoviello

Actor Chris Gauthier is very passionate about the cause, and someone who exudes kindness and compassion. We are honored to have Chris as part of the Bullies Keep Out family as a friend and advocate to fight to end bullying and hate in all its forms.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris and get to know more about his thoughts on bullying and much more.

Dana Jacoviello: First of all I would like to thank you for coming on board as an advocate for Bullies Keep Out to join us in the fight against this serious epidemic that impacts people all over the world.

Chris Gauthier: Thanks for having me! Can’t stands me a bully!!!!

DJ: Of course, bullying and any form of hate is important to all. It is a cause that everybody is willing to get behind, but we all have our own personal reasons, so is there any particular reason, besides stating the obvious, you choose to advocate for this cause?

CG: I grew up as an actor/skateboarder type and while I never incurred any real bullying personally, but I was witness to it on many different levels. I was raised in a small town and there was little tolerance for ANY differences.

DJ: Have you, or anybody you know, ever suffered any form of bullying or hate online or offline?

CG: As I alluded to in the last question, I have. There was a lot of name calling and pushing and shoving, never anything too serious, but enough that it did affect some friends. I have never been one to stand idly by, but also wasn’t confident with my ability to stand up to people (though I did when shoved into a corner). There were a few times I had to either harbor friends or run with them to safety.

DJ: I know human rights is a subject close to your heart that you stand by, as do we in doing what we do, what are your thoughts on some of those rights being taken away from so many in the world we are currently living in right now?

CG: Being older now and knowing more (debatable… lol). I figure if you know better do better, and maybe more specifically, BE better. I think we need to be more vocal on an in person level. If you see someone being discriminated against, stand up and say something. It can and will be scary, but it is essential in this day and age. Especially when more people are feeling a greater responsibility to defend human rights. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to stand up to some form of bullying to have others gain confidence. This will, in turn, empower others and give them strength. Soon, hopefully, the offender sees the error of their way and is rendered powerless!

DJ: Many have criticized celebrities for speaking out on human rights and equality issues. The have even been celebrities that have said Hollywood should stay out of politics. Why do you think people feel that way, and what is your stance on celebrities using platforms to voice their concerns and opinions publicly regarding world issues or causes?

CG: I have no clue why people think that way, perhaps they think that everyone who is known is rich or elite (not the case) or come from a place of privilege (sometimes true). Either way, doesn’t everyone have a right to speak about things they’re impassioned about? You wouldn’t say you’re a store clerk you don’t get a say, or you’re a farmer you can’t have an opinion! For me, if you have a platform and can point out injustices and wrong doings shouldn’t it be an obligation to point some of those things out, maybe reach someone who hadn’t given it much thought, and spread a little love and compassion? I think you do.

DJ: There were many misconceptions about the women’s march that recently took place. One of them is that it was all about women and hating men and that it was violent, which is was the least violent protest that took place over recent protests. What many misunderstand is that there is a difference between protests and rioting. Where do you stand when it comes to protesting?

CG: I’ll address the question first, then speak on the women’s march, if may. I think violent protesting is wrong, kind of defeats the purpose of spreading/teaching love and compassion. The women’s march may have been THE most inspiring thing I’ve witnessed. It was poignant, beautiful, and the strongest display of peaceful mobilization I’ve seen.

DJ: Some say the cyber bullying, and the overall issue as a whole, has gotten much worse in with recent events taking place. What are some reasons why you think that is and what can we do about it?

CG: Hmmm… There have been powerful people recently who have emboldened others either by insinuation or omission. When that happens though, it seems others on the side of defending the marginalized and disenfranchised rise up with equal and sometimes greater fervour!

DJ: How do you feel about people defending themselves or bouncing back when they are attacked? Some feel it should just be ignored due to the fact that it is very easy to go down to that level of bullying ourselves in defending ourselves. What do you feel the best way to respond is?

CG: I think it’s best to ignore till it no longer can be, especially if the attackers are utterly baseless and/or irrational. At no point should one stoop to violence or anything.

Stand up though. Say something! It can be powerful!

DJ: Many comedians make jokes, especially now, such as on SNL and other shows about our current administration. Some feel it is no different from bullying, and others feel we are becoming way too sensitive to innocent fun. Do you think there is a line that can be crossed when it comes to comedy or people should relax more and see it as entertainment?

CG: That depends. If you’re picking on people who don’t know any better or are brought along for the ride (children), then maybe back off. I don’t think that is fair, but if they know better, they should be subject to satire. We all should be, and are for the most part. Mostly it should be viewed as entertainment unless the butt of the joke so to speak never asked to be there.

DJ: There are cases where the word bullying gets thrown around too often and is misused or for attention purposes that takes away from those that are truly suffering. There is a common feeling that some might be in victim mode or not wanting to release it or in fact a bully themselves. Basically, there is a fine line and it can be seen as harsh having to pull away from someone who could be toxic or taking advantage of a situation, which does happen. So where do we draw a line and have to refer them to someone else if they refuse to listen or need help that gets them back into reality? Do you agree that it is something at some point we might have to do as mentors or coaches to someone to seek help outside of the bubble they have put themselves in?

CG: I think compassion should be applied wherever we can. Often those who “play a card” and are bullies themselves are reaching out or are suffering something. That being said, one should use ones best judgment in these cases and if it feels, maybe manipulative or that you’re being taken advantage of, maybe stand back and think on it. Approach the situation after some rest and thought.

DJ: What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would want to put out there to those struggling?

CG: I guess that everyone is somewhat fragile and no one is impervious to feelings of insecurity or loneliness. It’s sometime good to think about and maybe it’ll get you out of your own feelings of loneliness when you know that we all are. Compassion for others works as compassion to yourself. Sometimes, when you feel like crap, help someone else no matter how small. It feels great!

DJ: Is there anything you would like to add?

CG: I’d like to thank you for bringing me on board and tell you that it’s really great what you’re doing! Big ups homey!!!!

 

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