12yo Irish boy takes on social media bullies – and 500k viewers now have his back (VIDEO)
“The Bully,” a film written and directed by a 12-year-old Irish boy now living in the suburbs of Chicago, has been acclaimed a “work of art” and garnered over half a million views online.
Jonah Maxwell, who moved from Ireland to Illinois in 2011, says he made the film to show how bullying has worsened over the past number of years due to the proliferation of social media.
Jonah, who attends school in St Charles, west of the country’s third biggest city, says the film’s contents are mainly based on experiences his friends have told him about, but admitted he too was bullied on one occasion in elementary school.
In the six-minute video, which has clocked up over 540,000 views, children detail what they’ve experienced at the hands of “faceless bullies,” ranging from exclusion, name calling, body shaming, emotional and physical abuse, and rumors being spread about them online.
“My dad told me when he was a kid, bullying would stop at 3:30 every day after school. I told him it’s not like that anymore – they can get you 24/7,” Jonah said.
“Bullying can be physical, sexual, verbal or emotional. In 2016 it is almost impossible to know how much of this goes on after school on Facebook, Twitter, Kik, Poke, Whisper, Tumblr, Vine or Instagram,” he says in the film.
Jonah’s father is a filmmaker and helped his son edit the film, while his mother, Jennifer, helped choreograph parts of the film, which has now been shown in numerous schools in the US, Brazil, Ireland and Australia.
YouTubers have branded Jonah’s film as “enthralling and moving” as well as being a “work of art.”
“Should be shown at all schools,” commented user mary obrien, while ChannelRyanH wrote that they “wish every kid in the world could see this.”
“The Bully is a work of genius, Mr. Jonah Maxwell. Bravo and thank you,” wrote Stella Quick.