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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment showed a softer side Thursday while spreading an important anti-bullying message.

Some of the wrestling stars shared their personal memories of being victims of bullying. The event comes as a controversial bullying documentary undergoes some changes as it hits movie theaters.

The WWE stars and even an American Idol standout spoke to kids at Hialeah Gardens Middle School as part of their international anti-bullying campaign, “Be A Star.” Many of the youngsters were surprised to learn that even wrestling superstars were bullied when they were kids.

“I didn’t have muscles, I didn’t always look this good…I had real thick glasses too and I was a little bit chubby, and I used to get picked on a lot,” recalled WWE star David Otunga.

He said he overcame the bully attacks by telling a trusted teacher about it. So did WWE Diva Alicia Fox who was tormented by a boy in sixth grade.

“As punishment, he had to pick me up from class every day, hold my bags and walk me to the bus,” she said while smiling.

The messages resonated with 8th grader Jamie Chen who says she’s been bullied.

“A bunch of people come up to you and be like ‘oh you’re such a nerd’ or ‘oh you’re not wearing the right shoes, you’re not cool,'” said Chen.

When Chen heard American Idol contestant James Durbin describe the bullying he endured in school, she knew she wasn’t alone.

“I almost started crying and got teary-eyed. To see him go through that and now become an American Idol star, it was really touching.”

The damage bullying can cause is the focus of the new film, “Bully”. It profiles five victims, two of which committed suicide.

The profanity in the movie originally gave it an R rating, which would prevent young people from seeing it. Now the filmmakers are releasing the movie without a rating. AMC theaters will let minors watch it with a parental permission slip.

“Bully” opens in select theaters across the country Friday.

Comments (9)
  1. Lyzbet says:

    It’s wonderful that the WWE and American Idol team up for such a crucial cause. Way to go Jamie Chen – I’m proud of you!

  2. Christina says:

    Wonderful to see such a well spoken young lady sharing her thoughts and experiences. A great role model for others students to follow, being confident enough about themselves to not be influenced. All parents should watch this movie with their children and follow up with questions about their own experiences.

  3. Phil says:

    Insincere. They are doing this to protect their ratings.

    1. Kelli says:

      Phil, the WWE has done public service announcements and public outreach programs like this since the company started. It has absolutely nothing to do with ratings. This topic is about bullying, and trying to stop it. Yet, here you are making negative comments about a good work. So, who’s the bully?

      1. Phil says:

        Kelli, expressing my opinion is not bullying. I find someone who makes their living “assaulting” someone else for entertainment purposes that then speaks out against “bullying” to be hypocritical. I stand by my statement.

      2. Becky says:

        According to your statement then, EVERY actor or actress that has been in a violent movie that does something good does it solely for profit then. I find that hard to believe. Especially since WWE is simply that, and entertainment company. All the matches, all the soap opera antics are done by actors. ALL of WWE are actors or actresses. It is made up. Acting like a bully on TV for entertainment reasons is COMPLETELY being a bully in real life. You don’t see WWE stars running off and commiting suicide after shows why? Because it is fake. And personally, if the WWE stars (or any star for that matter) uses their fame to promote a good cause and show support then more power to them.

      3. Phil says:

        @ Becky, google “professional wrestlers that have commited suicide”. There have been quite a few. Do not mistake my comments as “pro bullying”. I just don’t believe these folks are sincere.

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