I finally saw Jonah Mowry’s compelling anti-bullying video “What’s Goin’ On” last night, and I was very moved by its content. It’s more than an anti-bullying video; it’s a cry for help from a 13-year-old boy who could be anyone’s son, struggling with early adolescence and all of the drama that goes with it, set to equally dramatic music.
In it, Jonah admits that despite the smile he wears most days, he’s not happy. He shows scars left from where he’s cut himself. Jonah’s emotional message has been going viral this week thanks to a post by Perez Hilton and a tweet from Lady Gaga, but it was filmed over the summer. Accordingly, after all the attention he’s received this week, Jonah left a message for YouTubers telling them though he was filled with dread about starting eighth grade, he feels much better now, having since come out to his parents. Hooray!
But in a strange twist to the story, Jonah has been accused of lying about his sorrow or exaggerating his plight, simply because he made a video more recently that shows him laughing with a friend. Ugh. Thank God that hasn’t stopped YouTubers from responding with reassuring messages of their own, however, for which Jonah’s mother says, “I’m thankful. There are a lot of people that are giving their warm wishes and uplifting Jonah, and I think that’s good.”
In case you haven’t seen it, take a look now at Jonah’s unintentional but powerful call to arms and a few of the best responses from his legion of online supporters: