Emmanuelle Vaugier Takes On Bullying

Interview by Dana Jacoviello

 

 

First of all Emmanuelle, I wanted to thank you so much for being an advocate and friend here at Bullies Keep Out, and just being an incredible activist in general. We are so glad to have you part of what we do.

 

Dana Jacoviello: A common notion is that everybody has been on the receiving end of a bully, or has even been one, at one time in their life; however, I have spoken to many who have not. Have you personally ever been bullied online or offline or anybody you know?

Emmanuelle Vaugier: As a kid, I’m pretty sure I was on the giving and receiving end of bullying at some point or another. When I was growing up there was no social media, so when you were bullied it was face to face and not hiding like a coward behind your “online profile”. Things are very different now, and it’s all too easy to trash people on a very public level, anonymously. Let me say, I do not condone bullying face to face, or on social media.

DJ: What would be your response to online bullying if someone were to attack you at full force?

EV: I have been quite fortunate. Most all my followers and fans have been very supportive and respectful. The odd time I have seen an “off” or “offensive” post on my timeline, I just block and report them. Responding is a waste of my energy, and only gives them the attention and power they desperately crave.

DJ: Fans are very passionate about characters, the actors who play them, and the storylines within their favorite shows. You were on a show, Lost Girl, which had quite a following. It also had a LGBTQ+ storyline that was highly popular with the audience. Did the show ever run into fans that took to social media attacking writers and actors regarding the LGBTQ+ representation as we have seen in other fandoms?

EV: We have such a loving and supportive Lost Girl Fandom. I’m sure that there are some haters out there, there always are. But the overwhelming support and love has far outweighed any petty issues that people have with the show. And I fully support the efforts of the LGBTQ+ community.

DJ: So much is happening in the world right now that can be linked to some form of bullying. One thing in particular that is a very heartbreaking trend is suicides. Much is being said that the schools are not doing anything about it. What are your thoughts on all schools being required, by law, to have bullying programs and protocols, along with it being mandatory for the teachers to discuss it in classrooms?

EV: I think schools being required by law to have bullying programs and protocols is extremely important. It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. When I was in school, we had health education, but there should be an additional component to that, which is mental health education.

DJ: Do you think this should also be mandatory in the workplace?

EV: Yes, I fully endorse that. I work in an industry where bullying, in the past, has been rewarded, but organizations like yours will help change the culture in the workplace.

DJ: I want to shift the topic for a moment to another passionate cause you have, which is animals. You have a charity that is close to your heart, The Fluffball. Besides your love of animals, of course, when did you decide to start The Fluffball, and what was your mission behind it?

EV: I started the Fluffball in January of 2010. That was when I held my first event at my home in LA, inviting friends and family to attend. As of 2014 we became a proper 501-c3 Non-Profit organization and opened the event to the public. 2017 marked our 6th annual Fluffball Fundraiser. It was held at the Lombardi House in Hollywood, on November 4th. My goal with forming the non-profit was to help a variety of small, local animal organizations raise money and awareness for their cause. In 2017/2018, we are proud to be benefitting the amazing Forgotten Horses Rescue based in Riverside, California.

DJ: We have a great love of animals at BKO, as they are bullied and abused just as humans are, except with no voice. What are some actions that are not being taken that could put an end to such horrific acts that are taking place with defenseless animals?

EV: I could write 100 pages about this, that being said, the abuse of defenseless animals is the reason I started this organization.

DJ: Do you have words of advice for those out there struggling and in need of support?

EV: Look, I’ll just say this, someone’s opinion of you is really how they feel about themselves. I know it’s hard in the moment, but have compassion for them, because those who are trying to hurt you, are hurting.

DJ: Do you have anything you would like to add?

EV: Thank you for reaching out to me. If this was helpful to even one person out there, I am filled with gratitude.

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