Refresh for updates Seems half of Hollywood is reaching out to Keaton Jones – meaning the other half just hasn’t yet seen the bullied Tennessee boy’s heartbreaking Facebook video.
If you haven’t been near a computer screen today, Keaton is the middle schooler whose tearful question – “Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” – just might become a rallying cry of the anti-bullying movement.
On Friday, the boy’s mother, Kimberly Jones, posted the video on her Facebook page, shortly after picking up Keaton from school because her son was too afraid and upset to go to lunch. The Knoxville, Tennessee, boy describes having milk poured on him and being called ugly for the head scars left from a tumor operation.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?,” Keaton asks. “What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? It’s not okay. It’s not okay! People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault.” The boy also says, “They make fun of my nose. They call me ugly. They say I have no friends.”
In a message accompanying the video, Kimberly Jones wrote, “My kids are by no stretch perfect, and at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
Within 24 hours the post had been viewed more than 10 million times and is closing in on 20 million, a roster of viewers that includes Hollywood actors and stars of hip hop, country music, athletes and Beltway pundits.
“Stay strong, Keaton,” tweeted Chris Evans. “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?
“Little buddy,” wrote Ruffalo, “I was bullied when I was a kid. You are right #ItGetsBetter! You are my own personal super hero. Protect Yo Heart. You got a pal in the Hulk.”
Tweeted Mark Hamill, “They’re just jealous because you’re so smart & handsome.”
“Add me to your long list of friends Keaton,” tweeted Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Hey Keaton…I just wanted to say I think you are amazing…I would love for you to be my date to the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere on Tuesday,” Hailee Steinfeld said in a video posted on Twitter.
Others reaching out include Patrick Adams (Suits), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kevin Jonas, Cardi B and, well, take a look for a sample of a roster that’s growing by the minute:
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) December 10, 2017
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 (@MarkRuffalo) December 10, 2017
Keaton-Don't waste time wondering why a bully would be so mean-They're sad people who think hurting others will make them feel better because they really don't like themselves-They're just jealous because you're so smart & handsomeYour friend-mh https://t.co/SUMw3OoCTm
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) December 10, 2017
We hear you #KeatonJones. I was bullied constantly growing up. And could never have put into words what you have. It does get better. And it gets better because of who are and what you know and how you share it with all of us. Thank you for your courage. https://t.co/P4cCQtkAnB
— Patrick J Adams (@halfadams) December 9, 2017
@Lakyn_Jones Keaton, this is so accurate. Why do people do this? I think your sooo cool Keaton! I wanna be your friend ( but srsly) ur freakin awesome
— Millie Bobby Brown (@milliebbrown) December 9, 2017
— Greg Grunberg (@greggrunberg) December 10, 2017
.@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
. I need Keaton Jones to appear on Chrisley Knows best , this Kid can change the world and I wanna help him do it .. #keatonbecomesachrisley let’s make this happen .. everyone use the hashtag .
— Todd Chrisley (@toddchrisley) December 10, 2017
Dear Keaton Jones, hopefully you see this. Your an amazing soul my man, never let ANYONE tell you otherwise! Keep your head up & chest out. Your a solider, always remember that.
— DeAndre Washington (@dwa5hington) December 10, 2017
RT I can’t imagine how busy Keaton Jones & his family are but I’d love to say hello, thank you, I’m proud of you & me & @SeanUnfiltered want to send to The Cotton Bowl. @Lakyn_Jones @The_UnSilent_ #StandWithKeaton
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) December 10, 2017
Hey @Lakyn_Jones – #KeatonJones’s mom. My name is NickStevenson. I’m an actor. I’m inviting U2come see me n my fellow actors @zachtheatre in #TheCuriousIncident…end of Jan-March in Austin. I will organize u and #superKeaton, airfare n accommodation. #Nomorebullying #plzsayyes!
— TheRealNickStevenson (@nickstevenson11) December 10, 2017
This is heartbreaking. But the response of support for him is a beautiful thing. Add me to your long list of friends Keaton. https://t.co/NKasvdo00u
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 10, 2017
Tuesday, Feb.6, 7pm, the Vols come to Lexington. I’d love for you to be my guest at @Rupp_Arena if you and the family have any interest in making the trip. Stay strong buddy! Thank you, Keaton, for being an inspiration of the strength for us all.
— Tod Lanter (@tod_lanterIII) December 10, 2017
Keaton- hang in there. Keep studying and never lose sight of your dreams. I was bullied and called fat. It gets better. Your bullies have been hurt somehow and that is why they need to hurt. They will fade away. Adventure is out there. #Keatonjones https://t.co/r5pENrI9f3
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) December 10, 2017
— Donna Murphy (@DMurphyOfficial) December 10, 2017
— Lenny Jacobson (@Lennyjacobson) December 9, 2017
— Bernard Blake (@BamBam_Blake23) December 10, 2017
Hey #KeatonJones..you have so many friends & supporters out here..& we have your back, dear one! You are fearfully & wonderfully made..& His works are WONDERFUL, we know that for sure. And You. Are. Too! Keep standing up…there’s God & all your new friends standing behind you. https://t.co/VWi88OE1Y3
— Heather Headley (@heatherheadley) December 10, 2017
Keaton jones you are a hero. This extremely raw and real moment has brought hope and truth to so many people. Be you and be forever fearless. Never give up. You are loved!
— kevin jonas (@kevinjonas) December 10, 2017
— chase crawford (@chsecrwfrd) December 10, 2017
I’m so Sad and angry like I’m OD hot Please teach your kids not to be bullies .Teach them how to be tough but not too pick on others
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) December 10, 2017
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) 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
Oh sweet boy. We see you. You are not alone. https://t.co/splq8LEMFR
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) December 10, 2017
I love him—— To Keaton Jones …you are a totally amazing person with a great future ahead of you! Don’t let ANY unhappy person bring you down!! I support u- let’s END BULLYING!!!! Sending to you !!!
— Carnie Wilson (@CarnieWilson) December 10, 2017
— Hailee Steinfeld (@HaileeSteinfeld) December 10, 2017
I love this boy and I’ve never met him. You are brave and beautiful just as you are, don’t ever let others define who you are. Bullies are insecure and ignorant. Words create emotional poison, don’t listen to them so that poison doesn’t ever get to your pure heart pic.twitter.com/SjntR2Pksk
— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) December 10, 2017