International Anti-Bully Week
15-19 November 2010 is all about Taking Action Together. The Madonna Experiment: " I think it would be interesting for everybody to try one simple experiment. If you want to talk about solutions or how can we solve this problem? Try to get through the day each and everyone of us… without gossiping about somebody. Without gossiping about anybody. And not only that. Not even listening to gossip. Walking away from it. Can you imagine what your day would be like? How much more free time you’d have? I also feel like you’d feel about better about yourself" - Madonna
You can also show your support by donning the color Purple.
Troubled gay students have hit headlines across the U.S. in recent weeks after several allegedly took their own lives following cruel taunts from their peers. And Madonna admits she is heartbroken by the tragic deaths – because it was her gay friends who ultimately made her feel accepted.
Here’s what she had to say:
Ellen Degeneres: I appreciate that you wanted to speak to this cause here because it is a very important cause to me and I understand for you. So speak to us.
Madonna: Well, I just feel it would be incredible remiss of me to not say something. I’m incredibly disturbed and saddened by the overwhelming number of teen suicides that have been reported lately because of bullying. Suicide in general is disturbing. Teenagers committing suicide is extremely disturbing but to hear that teenagers are taking their lives because they are being bullied in schools and dormitories, what have you, is kind of unfathomable. I know a number of people have spoken out about it but I feel like I need to say something. The gay community has been incredibly supportive of me. I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for the gay community…I have a teenage daughter and I have ongoing discussions with her about this topic so I feel like I need to say a few words…
Ellen Degeneres: Were you bullied as a kid? Did you feel different than other people when you were younger?
Madonna: Yes, that’s an understatement. I still feel different. I can totally relate to the idea of feeling isolated and alienated. I was incredibly lonely as a child, as a teenager. I have to say I never felt like I fit in in school. I wasn’t a jock. I wasn’t an intellectual. There was no group that I felt a part of. I just felt like a weirdo…It wasn’t until my ballet teacher who was also gay took me under his wing and introduced me to a community of artists of other unique individuals who told me it was good and okay to be different and brought me to my first gay disco and ironically made me feel I was part of the world and it was okay to be different.
Ellen Degeneres: What do you say to your children, Madonna? You said you started having these conversations when you talk about bullying. What do you say?
Madonna:..We talk a lot about the importance of not judging people who are different. Not judging people who don’t fit into our expected view of what’s cool and what isn’t. Think about it across the board. The concept that we are torturing teenagers because they are gay. It’s kind of like I said earlier. It’s unfathomable. It’s like lynching black people or Hitler exterminating Jews. Sorry if I’m going on a rampage right now but this is America. The land of the free and the home of the brave….
Madonna: I think it would be interesting for everybody to try one simple experiment. If you want to talk about solutions or how can we solve this problem? Try to get through the day each and everyone of us…without gossiping about somebody. Without gossiping about anybody. And not only that. Not even listening to gossip. Walking away from it. Can you imagine what your day would be like? How much more free time you’d have? I also feel like you’d feel about better about yourself…
Ellen Degeneres: I think it’s a good challenge. Just thinking that there is somebody on the other end of that….Madonna, I think you’re an amazing woman and before I let you go, when are we going to hear another album? We’re waiting for another album.
Madonna: Ellen, never let me go.
Ellen Degeneres: I know you are finishing up a film right now…
Madonna: I’m editing it (her film) and as soon as I’m done. I’ve got to get my butt in the studio and make some more music.
Ellen Degeneres: We can’t wait.
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