Full disclosure: Part of this news story absolutely infuriates me, and part of this story warms my heart. This writer won’t be filtering either of these feelings for the purposes of this article. Read on and you’ll understand.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, making this the perfect time for a viral video from 2019 to resurface and finally get the response it deserves. The video in question was recorded and posted online by @mcgui, whose real name is Guilherme Kaue Castanheira Alves. He’s a Brazilian social media star and singer with nearly 8 million followers to his, um, credit. He was 21 years old when he took the video.
He has reportedly risen to fame by creating and stirring controversy, seemingly just for the sake of controversy and shock value.
And the optimism within me wants to believe that there are some things that are strictly off-limits when it comes to teasing, poking fun, and pointing out. However, this particular social media “personality” sees no boundaries when it comes to being hateful toward other humans and causing pain for them, even those who are very young, defenseless, and dealing with really big-time stuff in their tiny little lives.
No one deserves to be bullied. Ever.
But especially not children. For any reason.
@mcgui was aboard the monorail at Disney World when he apparently spotted a young girl who was dressed up as Boo from Monsters, Inc. The young Disney fan is the focal point of the video and is clearly wearing a wig styled like Boo’s hair. It appears that under her wig, she has lost her hair, presumably from treatments for cancer or other serious illness.
In the video, @mcgui whistles at her to get her attention (rude), and the child looks over at the camera before becoming visibly uncomfortable and adjusting her wig, then looking back and forth from the camera to the window to her right.
Then @mcgui utters the words, “It looks like a horror movie.”
I’ve included the video so that our readers can see how truly heartless this man’s actions were. Bullying is real. And bullying causes real pain.
Let’s recap: Social media “star” hones in on a young child–and one who’s clearly been fighting for her life up to that point–then whistles at her and proceeds to bully her and make fun of her publicly–and then posts the video for millions to see.
Since the video has resurfaced, Disney fans of all ages have shown up in droves to show their support for the little girl and to take a stand against bullying. Disney should be a safe space for people of all ages, but especially for children.
A man named Justin Wren saw the video and was also disgusted by it. You may have heard of him before; he’s an MMA fighter who goes by the name of “The Big Pygmy.” Wren came across the video and took it upon himself to raise awareness about @mcgui’s behavior and about standing up for those being bullied.
Wren is the founder of FightfortheForgotten.org and the “Heroes in Waiting” anti-bullying initiative. After seeing the viral video of @mcgui singling out the young girl and bullying her, he took to social media to stand up for her and against the behavior of the one he calls “a coward.”
On Wren’s Instagram account, he talks about the video and then calls out @mcgui for his actions, telling him not to “ruin his apology with an excuse.” You can read it here:
“This is what bullying a child with cancer at [Disney World] looks like. For me, this was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking to watch. Please stay with me… Why am I posting it? It’s National #bullying prevention month. Hopefully, this will encourage anyone who ever finds themselves as a bystander to do the right thing. I’ll put in the comments the most powerful thing you can do if you ever find yourself in this situation in real life.
This man in the goofy hat is an internet “celebrity” from Brazil. He has 7.8 million followers. He has become “famous” after creating controversy after controversy in Brazilian media, some of which, were also at amusement parks.
In the video, he whistles to get her attention, zooms in, and says, “It looks like a horror movie.” She is obviously wearing a wig, she is visibly uncomfortable. It’s disgusting to make fun of a child while your goonies laugh with you, but it’s in a whole other stratosphere to make fun of a child going thru the biggest fight of their life… And post it on the internet to millions.
I’ve spent time as an official volunteer at @childrenscolo hospital. I’ve been bedside before & after surgery of a girl this age with bone cancer. I’ve pushed children in their wheelchairs. I’ve organized visits from MMA and UFC world champions to go room to room to encourage these little warriors that are more brave than anyone who’s ever stepped foot in the cage.”
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Then “The Big Pygmy” calls out @mcgui for his actions, entreating him to do something to attempt to right his wrong:
“@mcgui now I’m talking to you. This girl is brave. Your actions were one of a coward. You’ve been playing the victim making it about your career. However, your popularity has continued to grow. It’s time for a real apology, without excuses. Hurt people hurt people, but it doesn’t excuse your actions and history. This was unnecessary, unkind and uncalled for. One action you could take is donating to a Brazilian bullying prevention nonprofit, but even better, would be finding a way to do something kind for this young girl, or someone else who has been thru something similar. The ball is in your court, and remember, don’t ruin your apology with an excuse.”
We’d like to tip our hats to Justin Wren, aka “The Big Pygmy” for being dedicated and unapologetic in his mission to stand against bullying, especially when it comes to children.
And whomever this beautiful brave little girl is, wherever she is today, our thoughts and prayers are with her, and we wish her a lifetime of health, peace, and hope.