After a heartbreaking video of a Tennessee student crying about being bullied went viral, actors, athletes, musicians and other celebs are using the power of social media to support him.
In the video his mother shared to Facebook (which has since been removed), Keaton Jones, a young boy from Knoxville, sat in the car because he was afraid to go to lunch. He described how the other kids were bullying him.
“They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends,” Keaton told his mother. “I don’t like that they do it to me. And I, for sure, don’t like that they do it to other people, cause it’s not OK. People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.”
The video began with Keaton asking his mother why kids bully other kids, but it ended with a message of hope, when he said, “It will probably get better one day” through tears.
The original video is still on YouTube:
Along with the rest of the internet, the video also caught the attention of some big names who reached out to Keaton Jones over Twitter, offering hope and encouragement—and even a few surprises.
“Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold,” actor Chris Evans tweeted. “I promise it gets better.”
Evans, who plays Captain America in “The Avengers” movies, then took it a step further, and invited Keaton to visit him for the next “Avengers” premiere.
“While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year?” he asked.
Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? https://t.co/s1QwCQ3toi
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 10, 2017
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in “The Avengers” also tweeted his support, as did Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things” and Patricia Arquette from “Medium.”
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) December 10, 2017
Keaton, I'm sorry those kids are being so mean. Unless people like that change they will end up having unhappy lives. I think you're cool!
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 9, 2017
Fox News host Sean Hannity invited Keaton to New York City and actress Hailee Steinfeld included an invite to the “Pitch Perfect 3” movie premiere in a video posted to Twitter.
— Hailee Steinfeld (@HaileeSteinfeld) December 10, 2017
Some sports stars have also reached out, including Tennessee Titans tight-end Delanie Walker, who read a poem in a video posted to Twitter and invited Keaton and his family to a New Year’s Eve game.
— Delanie Walker (@delaniewalker82) December 9, 2017
Keaton also received an invitation for lunch from Dr. Phil, who said he would walk the halls with him anytime and also offered some words of wisdom.
.@lakyn_jones Hey Keaton, bullies are the ones with the problems NOT you. Many are bullied at home and pass it on. Cowards always need an audience. Be strong! I’ll come walk the hall and eat lunch with you anytime. #IstandwithKeaton #Keatonstrong #KeatonJones
— Dr. Phil (@DrPhil) December 10, 2017
If you or someone you know is being bullied, visit StopBullying.org for advice and links to resources that can help.