Ah, Rebecca Black, the 'Friday' girl. Definitely a prime example of the aforementioned, brightly burning, Internet celebrity. Rebecca is 14 years old and she remains an Internet sensation - so much so that her mom recently yanked her out of school because she was being bullied. Black says school was a nightmare for her, because kids are mean:
"When I walk by they'll start singing 'Friday' in a really nasally voice. Or, you know, they'll be like, 'Oh hey, Rebecca, guess what day it is?'"
Ugh, that's terrible...wait. Wait a minute! Is that really bullying though? Is that reason to home school Rebecca? Her mom told 'Nightline' she also wants to let the teen "focus on her career."
I get it now. Bullying? Okaayyyyy.
To be fair, I must mention that Rebecca Black did get death threats against her, shortly after her video for 'Friday' went viral. That is NOT cool, and is a good example of bullying some Internet celebs face.
Star Wars Kid
The Star Wars Kid may be the best example of a bullied Internet celebrity. The kid, whose real name is Ghyslain Raza, skyrocketed to fame when a private video of his imaginary lightsaber theatrics (his 'weapon' was really a golf club retriever) went viral, thanks to his classmates discovering the tape and uploading it to YouTube. Raza was humiliated. He later dropped out of his Quebec, Canada, high school, developed major depression and spent time in a psychiatric hospital. Raza's family sued the former classmates for $250,000, claiming the teen endured "harassment and derision from his high school mates and the public at large." The suit was settled out of court.
Sad story, definitely. But wait! There IS a happy ending: In 2010, an older and stronger Ghyslain Raza emerged as the president of a prestigious French-Canadian conservation society and a budding law student! The force is definitely with him now...
What began as an Internet joke based on a 'South Park' episode turned very ugly for red-haired people, or "gingers." In November of 2005, Cartman goes on a rampage against so-called 'Gingers' - kids who have red hair - and declares a "Kick a Ginger Day." Apparently, some people took things way, way too seriously, and several incidents of red-headed teens being attacked began to surface. It's SATIRE, people. Satire.
One brave, red-headed kid stuck up for all of his ginger brethren on YouTube. User CopperCab told his audience (of 19 million plus, and counting), that YES, red-headed people DO indeed have souls. He explains that he's been picked on repeatedly at school, and while he acts like it doesn't bother him - it does. Then, he gets really angry. It's quite obvious that the bullying is taking it's toll (the kid mentions suicide). Enough, already, with the ginger bullying. As the soul-possessing YouTube Ginger says, be proud of your freckles and your fiery red hair!
It all started with one video: "My name is Boxxxxyyyyy...." Boxxy, also known as Catherine "Catie" Wayne, was elevated to Internet celebrity status in 2009, thanks largely to the efforts of 4chan. When members learned of Boxxy's YouTube videos (initially created for her Gaia Online profile), they discussed her constantly. Flame wars ensued, as Boxxy lovers and haters battled it out to the death. Someone later hacked into her YouTube account - no doubt serious haters. Parodies and remix videos surfaced, serving to bolster Boxxy's status as the latest and greatest net celeb. Boxxy was not to be denied: After having her YouTube account removed, hacked and generally obliterated, Boxxy went away, and everyone was sad. Very sad.
But wait! In January of 2011, Boxxy resurfaced on YouTube, posting a new clip and promising that "things are about to get intense."
The Jessi Slaughter case is one of the more extreme cases of online bullying. In 2010, the 11-year-old Slaughter (not her real name - that's Jessica Leonhardt) posted videos on YouTube, railing against those she said were bullying her online and in school.
The videos, quite honestly, are startlingly disturbing. In one profanity-laced video, Jessi warns that if her haters don't stop hating, "I'll pop a Glock in your mouth and make a brain slushy." In another video, a hysterical Jessi's father got involved - screaming in the background that he'd sic the "cyber police" on those who wronged his daughter.
All of these videos made the taunting worse. Slaughter became an Internet sensation for all the wrong reasons. Someone posted her personal info online, including a phone number. She got death threats. She was sent to counseling. And in March of 2011, her own father, Gene Leonhardt, was arrested on child abuse charges, for allegedly punching the girl. At last check, police were still investigating. Gene Leonhardt, by the way, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In March of 2011, Australian teenager Casey Haynes became an Internet celebrity for fighting back against the bullies who were attacking him - and all the world saw his bravery. Yes, Casey became a hero for sticking up for himself, after being abused for years. 40 seconds of video showing Casey essentially pile driving one of his attackers turned the 15-year-old into a poster child for anyone who has ever been picked on, pushed around and belittled.
The story gets better. And better. One of the most famous celebrities in the world wanted to meet him: Justin Bieber. The Biebs flew Casey and his family to his concert in Melbourne in May of 2011. Not only that, Bieber actually brought Casey ON STAGE with him!
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