E. Winter Tashlin

French Bullying PSA Puts Things In Perspective

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | November 10, 2013 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media
Tags: bullying, bullying prevention, France, harassment, lgbt youth, Mad World, PSA

Kids are going to be kids
Bullying is a natural part of childhood
Bullied kids need to toughen up

These sorts of sentiments are all-too common when the topic of bullying is raised. As a society we often seem to tolerate behaviors and actions directed at children that we wouldn't accept as adults.

Or at least that's the point that a new, and difficult to watch French advert is making. The video, found below, shows an office worker being tormented by his co-workers through the course of his day. The tagline at the end reads "A work day does not look like this. And a school day?"

While the ad isn't LGBT specific, there are signs that LGBT youth in France have particularly been having a difficult time of late. The fight for marriage equality exposed a deep current of homophobia running through the culture of the European nation, and France's only homeless shelter for LGBT youth has seen a dramatic increase in calls, averaging over five hundred a month even now.

As powerful as this video is, and honestly the Gary Jules' and Michael Andrews' cover of "Mad World" could make kitten videos tragic, some people may take exception to the fundamental assumption on which it's based. Too many of us know firsthand that bullying behavior isn't limited to children, and the experiences of the video's protagonist are sadly familiar for many LGBT people.

So what do you think? Is this video a good way to show bullying in a context that will get adults' attention? Does it do a disservice by erasing adults whose work environments are emotionally or physically abusive? And what would you have done differently?

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