(Originally posted to Facebook on 20-Jun-2011)
I recently witnessed a commercial for the movie the Bad Teacher. In that commercial Cameron Diaz instructs two students to hold the arms of another so she can nail him with a playground ball. As a parent of children who were bullied and as someone who was bullied viciously in school, I am appalled. How can the studio make light of such a horrible act?
In Bridgewater Massachusetts, two boys were caught on video holding another boy while a fourth beat him. The savageness of dodge ball has been used on virtually every victim of bullying throughout America. These things are neither funny nor clever plot devices. These are horrifying realities for many people. The film Bad Teacher spits in the eye of every bullied person.
I would like to think that a multi-billion dollar studio such as Sony would exercise better social responsibility. To glamorize this act enforces the mentality that fosters bullies and perpetuates the violence. Shame on Sony and star Cameron Diaz.
I witnessed one very offensive scene being advertised. I refuse to see this movie on the assumption that other scenes will also portray glamorized depictions of violence or glorify demeaning behavior and bullying. I am calling for everyone who has ever been bullied or has children who are bullied to boycott this film.
Additional Information: The Bad Teacher movie came out at a time when I was rehashing a lot of baggage with my psychiatrist. We were talking a lot about my high school years when I was a target for excessive bullying. Not only was I bullied by other kids. I had to contend with the faculty, the police, my own family, and total strangers.
At the same time as this movie's release, there was an uptick in student bullying, including video evidence of three boys beating up a smaller, chubbier student in the school's bathroom. In addition, my own children were also bullied, and punished by their schools for fighting back.
Thus, when I saw the commercial for Bad Teacher, focusing on Cameron Diaz's character bullying her students for cheap laughs I was infuriated. Being bullied causes different reactions based on the emotional makeup of the victim. Some people strive harder to fit in. Some lash out very violently. Some respond artistically.
When I believe I am being bullied directly I tend to fight back, verbally, physically, or passive-aggressively (such as purposefully dropping the ball on something with a sarcastic " oops, sorry"). However, I also strike back artistically. This is especially true if the bully is a public figure or a social construct.
I heard that the movie has a typical formulaic Hollywood twist where the tormentor realizes they are wrong and become the hero for their targets. To that, I say "Fuck You". You cannot slap a contrived Hollywood happy ending on a movie and ignore the cheap laughs derived at the idea of an adult bullying a bunch of kids.
I will never watch this movie and anyone who has and then defends it, should be ashamed.