Seventeen and ABC Family have joined forces to fight cyberbullying with their new Delete Digital Drama campaign. The campaign features a recently produced movie on the subject, entitled Cyberbully.
We had the chance to speak with Tom Zappala, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Scheduling at ABC Family, about their joint efforts with Seventeen and the upcoming movie.
The film, starring Emily Osment (of Hannah Montana fame) tells the story of a teenage girl who receives a computer for her birthday. While roaming the web unsupervised, she excitedly signs up for various social media websites. Things take a turn for the worse when she then becomes the victim of malicious cyberbullying.
Zappala said ABC Family and Seventeen wanted to join forces to educate their “viewers and readers about the perils of online discussions, how to protect your own privacy and how to take safeguards and make sure you are aware of the dangers of online chat rooms and meeting people and chatting with them online.”
He added that there was a need for a movie that tackled the subject of cyberbullying because there hadn’t yet been a film that took the issue on “in a millennial way.”
So what is the moral of the story of Cyberbully? “You really need to protect yourself and just interact with people you know outside of the cyber world,” Zappala said. “You have to stand up for yourself and be careful with people you don’t know.”
In addition to the film, the Delete Digital Drama campaign will also tie-in a new website, www.stompoutbullying.org, where people can find information and resources about online bullying. Throughout the airing of the Cyberbully movie, PSAs featuring cast members will be run to emphasize that online harassment is a real-life issue affecting thousands of people.
Seventeen will be running a multi-page feature in their August 2011 edition will real-life stories from regular teens and the cast of Cyberbully about their own experiences with bullying.
Cyberbully will air on ABC Family on Sunday, July 17 at 8pm EST.
For more information about the movie, visit http://abcfamily.go.com/movies/cyberbully.