President Barack Obama Joins Cartoon Network To Speak Up Against Bullying
President Barack Obama will deliver a special opening message that will introduce viewers to Speak Up, the original documentary from Cartoon Network that captures the authentic, everyday stories of America’s bullied kids and the youth who have helped them. Having already recognized the importance of dealing with this crucial issue by hosting the first-ever bullying prevention summit at the White House in 2011, Mr. Obama will speak to viewers, not only as the President but as a father and emphasize the importance of taking a stand against bullying.
The half-hour film, which is an extension of thenetwork’s nationally recognized and award-winning pro-social initiative Stop Bullying: Speak Up, seeks to empower all kids to take part in the growing movement to help bring an end to bullying. It will premiere commercial-free on Sunday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) with an 8:00 p.m. encore telecast. Speak Up is directed by Lee Hoffman (Third Act Productions), executive produced by Hoffman and Cartoon Network Chief Content Officer Rob Sorcher, and produced by Rebecca Miller.
“We are honored that President Obama wanted to add his voice to our program,” said Stuart Snyder, president and COO, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division. “This is such a key issue for our audience and their families and his participation helps even more to raise awareness about the importance of speaking up.”
Before, during and immediately following the telecast, renowned bullying prevention expert and author Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and adults, answering viewer questions online at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com. Speak Up also will be posted in its entirety on the website for ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders. Further viewing of Speak Up across multiple digital platforms will be facilitated free of charge to customers through Comcast Xfinity, Facebook, iTunes and YouTube.com, each for at least two weeks following the world premiere.
Along with the documentary’s youth participants discussing the difficulties in approaching adults and getting them to understand their situation, Speak Up also features appearances from the hosts of Cartoon Network’s Dude What Would Happen (CJ Manigo, Ali Sepasyar and Jackson Rogow), Venus Williams (World Tennis Champion), Chris Webber (Five time NBA All-Star), Hope Solo (Soccer Star), Matt Wilhelm (Pro BMX champion), Lisa Leslie (WNBA All-Star) and NASCAR drivers Trevor Bayne (2011 Daytona 500 winner), Jeff Burton and Joey Logano (youngest winner of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race).
Original theme music for the documentary, “Speak Up” was written and performed by Jonathon Tortora, Fredric Duey and Brett Spigelman.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 99 million U.S. homes and 168 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for youth and families.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.