Bullying | Canada | News | Rick Mercer

Rick Mercer Wants Cops Called on Bullies, Demands Gay Public Figures Step Up: VIDEO

Mercer

Canadian TV personality Rick Mercer unleashed a "rant" on YouTube today about the recent suicide of gay teen Jamie Hubley and bullying in schools, demanding that police be called in to deal with bullies and gay public figures take action.

Says Mercer: "It’s no longer good enough for us to tell kids who are different that it's going to get better. We have to make it better now. So If you're gay and you're in public life, I’m sorry, you don't have to run around with a Pride flag and bore the hell out of everyone, but you can't be invisible. Not anymore."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via dan savage)

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Comments

  1. RIGHT ON!!

    Posted by: Jeff R. | Oct 26, 2011 7:09:53 PM


  2. Bravo.

    Clear, quick, and powerful.

    Posted by: WebHybrid | Oct 26, 2011 7:22:11 PM


  3. Bravo.

    Anderson Cooper, Kevin Spacey; Queen Latifahl and Matt Bomer should all be ashamed of themselves.

    Posted by: David | Oct 26, 2011 7:34:07 PM


  4. Concise and well-done. The physical movement and camera work lent immediacy to his very eloquently-stated message. Bravo!

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 26, 2011 7:40:53 PM


  5. "Anderson Cooper, Kevin Spacey; Queen Latifahl and Matt Bomer should all be ashamed of themselves."

    If you're saying they're all gay and not "out", then how do you even know they're gay? You can't have it both ways.

    Posted by: ohplease | Oct 26, 2011 7:54:51 PM


  6. Because they are all openly closeted.

    Posted by: David | Oct 26, 2011 8:09:42 PM


  7. I agree: BRAVO!!

    Posted by: tinhouston | Oct 26, 2011 8:27:02 PM


  8. There's a bigger solution here that isn't "celebrities need to be out and visible". At the end of the day, when a bullying incident happens, a bully knowing that Anderson Cooper is gay or Lady Gaga is pro-gay isn't going to make them think twice about punching a gay kid. It's about bullies knowing someone close to them who is gay, knowing someone and caring about that someone. If not, it's got to be education that teaches about gay acceptance of their peers, not gay acceptance through admiration of celebrities. The good that celebrities do is bringing awareness to causes, donating their money, and providing a sense of identification to gay kids. But it doesn't do much to stop a bully.

    And on top of that, it's got to be something that includes intervention when these events happen. Teachers, principals, parents, staff etc. The police have some kind of fear-hold, but what is calling in the police really going to accomplish? You want bullies sent to jail? The most the court can do for a bullying event that doesn't end in critical physical harm or death is just about the same thing that a school with a solid policy on bullying can accomplish.

    This isn't going to get fixed by external authority like the police or celebs beaming through the TV. It's got to be change on the levels closest to gay kids and bullies.

    Posted by: luminum | Oct 26, 2011 8:35:01 PM


  9. John Baird needs to step up and come out too!!

    Posted by: TJ | Oct 26, 2011 8:40:11 PM


  10. @TJ That is what I found most interesting. Rick basic called out John Baird when he added cabinet ministers in his list of people that need to come out.

    Posted by: Will in Canada | Oct 26, 2011 8:49:53 PM


  11. I don't think the thrust of the piece was to get potential role models to be just that, but for the schools to be more proactive - the fine example was getting the entire student body together for an intimidating assembly if their was vandalism - to have the vandals ratted out.

    Schools seem pretty loathe to do much tho. Perhaps parents need to insist on more and better action - as they seem to the only motivated people with any kind of power in these situations.

    (I suppose what I did to protect my daughter from bullying would not go over well today - i.e., climbing aboard the school bus and threatening bodily harm to the bully in question whilst holding him by the scruff of the neck ... but perhaps similarly motivated parents can come up with something more creative and more p.c.)

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 26, 2011 9:47:12 PM


  12. So I guess bullying and outing adults is okay? Guessing who is gay and perpetuating it on the internet is also a form of bullying, unless you have personal knowledge...and are you out?
    People regardless of whether they are gay or not have to step up and step in so that this stops. Words hurt too! Quit pointing the finger at people you think are gay and step up and do something. Rick just did...now it's up to the rest of us.

    Posted by: Wendy | Oct 26, 2011 9:48:31 PM


  13. We need to reframe this argument. Drop the word "bullying" and replace it with what we would call it for adults: harassment, assault, and battery.

    Violent and abusive behavior towards children doesn't sound as bad when we "tone it down" with other words for the same actions.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 26, 2011 10:23:56 PM


  14. This rant would work for me a bit better if Rick had actually mentioned in it that he himself is gay and if he weren't so quiet about it. He's been one of our most famous and popular homegrown stars in Canada for many, many years. He waited a LONG time into his successful career to come out. He came out quietly, very rarely discusses it in interview, and I've never seen him mention it on one of his own shows. Canadians recognize Rick and like him, but if I mention he's gay to other Canadians they are really shocked and skeptical.

    I don't think it's clear how much bullying played a part in this new death anyway.

    Posted by: ben | Oct 26, 2011 10:54:12 PM


  15. Jamie Hubley's suicide note indicated that he had been watching the It Gets Better videos which include lots of gay public figures but had decided to kill himself anyway. Graduation was too long of a wait in his opinion, so he was taking the quicker, easier escape from his troubles by suicide. Celebrity endorsement failed, and there's no reason to think adding more celebrity endorsements would have made a difference. Celebrity endorsement isn't all powerful, if it was Americans would all be progressives and Bush never would have been elected.

    Posted by: jj | Oct 26, 2011 11:09:41 PM


  16. @ david a.c. and matt boomer may not wear pride lags on their sleeves but do live fairly open about who they are. the real problem is a bunch of "a" listers who have made tons of money while living in the closet . these are the people the kids have to see take ownership of who their are. the real big stars who hide deep in the closet.

    Posted by: walter | Oct 26, 2011 11:35:36 PM


  17. @Ben

    Rick clearly includes himself as a gay celebrity in the video.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 27, 2011 1:15:00 AM


  18. The very last time I was bullied in high school is when I threatened to call a cop. The very last time I was harassed by a Christianist in the work place is when I threatened to go to HR. Until there are real consequences, not kids are just being kids and first amendment excuses, this crap will continue.

    Posted by: Gus | Oct 27, 2011 2:29:13 AM


  19. I do enjoy Rick's Rants. I want to go get my pics taken in the alley he does them in outside the CBC Buildings. And rants like this are why he is my hero. Go to his youtube channel and watch. He was talking about "It gets Better" YEARS before the campaign started.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 27, 2011 2:39:30 AM


  20. I like when he says that saying "It get's better" doesn't cut it any more. Call the cops EVERY time a harassment happens. And if the cops don't respond, hold THEIR feet to the fire until they do!!!

    Posted by: Alan Arthur Chiras | Oct 27, 2011 6:38:32 AM


  21. @David - conveniently forgetting your girl Lily Tomlin? The only thing a star owes us is a good performance, nothing more. Live your own life and let them live theirs. It's laughable to think a star coming out will prevent bullying, suicide, etc. I never got the gene whereby a star coming out validated my orientation thankfully!

    Posted by: Jazz Central | Oct 27, 2011 7:19:44 AM


  22. Good question. Where are all the gay public figures? Hiding in cyberspace, no doubt. Dispensing their "it gets better" projects from the comfort of their bedrooms, quite possibly.

    You never see them out and about in activism. The only thing they're physically active at is attending gay bars for smoking and drinking on a Saturday night.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 27, 2011 7:25:03 AM


  23. In the U.S., the entire REPUBLICAN Party is made up of right wing bigots, bullies, etc., yet only gays call them on it...the media for the most part turns a blind eye, with the exception of a few voices. Not once during the Republican debates, so far, has any of the moderators asked why the candidates hate gays.

    Posted by: CB | Oct 27, 2011 8:00:31 AM


  24. Yeah, Matt Bomer's lack of active support for gay causes is noticeable. (To ensure the sarcasm of that comment doesn't pass you by, please see link.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxEqu3AzGes

    Posted by: TF | Oct 27, 2011 8:34:12 AM


  25. Rick Mercer is great! I'm so ready to end our failed politically-correct bullsh*t. Grief counselling is fine but it's time to get back to common sense. Where is the law? Where is the punishment? The world is upside down.

    Posted by: Debra McCallum | Oct 27, 2011 8:59:30 AM


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