Have You Ever Stopped a Bully?

I never thought I’d say this, but one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen in a long time was a Burger King commercial.

It’s a “hidden camera” commercial that poses the following scenario: “We bullied a high school junior and a Whopper Jr. to see which one received more complaints.”

You can watch the 3-minute video to see what happens, but you can probably guess the results. Way more people (95%) reported a problem with their semi-destroyed Whopper Jr. than people (12%) who stood up for the the kid being bullied (a child actor).

Despite that low number, the commercial does show a few people who stand up for the kid. They don’t do it with violence or aggression–they just make their presence known, and they start a dialogue. I’ve watched the video several times now, and I tear up every time at that part of the video.

The video made me think of a time in middle school when I was bullied for a while by a much bigger kid my same age, usually in gym class at times when few other people were around. It wasn’t big stuff (tripping, pushing, etc), but it made me feel small.

I remember one time when I was a little too slow at putting on my gym uniform, and the bully shoved past me and dumped my backpack on the locker room floor. I backed into a corner, and I don’t know what would have happened next if another kid hadn’t started picking up my stuff, saying, “Come on, man. Stop picking on him.” The bully shrugged and walked out of the locker room.

I still remember the bully’s name, but I wish I instead remembered the name of the kid who stood up for me. It meant a lot. As odd as it is to say, I really appreciate this Burger King commercial, as it’s a great reminder to me that a small gesture can make a big impact on a kid who’s being bullied.