GRAYSON, Georgia-- In the midst of being bullied by schoolmates over his hair color, then-teenager Michael Kittrell fought back through a video he created and posted to Youtube titled 'Gingers Do Have Souls'. At the time, the bullying victim may not have realized how popular the video would become, or how far it would take him.
35-million views later, Reelz Channel has cast Kittrell and his family in a new reality series called 'Hollywood Hillbillies'. The show documents the now 21-year-old's move from the small Georgia town of Grayson to Hollywood, California. It also documents Michael's quest to become the next Youtube superstar.
Bullying in schools is a serious problem in the United States. Victims and their families have begun the long struggle of fighting for changes in school policies and are pushing government to pass laws which prevent bullying, and provide appropriate punishment for those who inflict it.
Tricia Norman, the mother of a 12-year-old Florida girl who committed suicide last year after severe bullying is leading the fight in her home state with a bill named after her daughter. 'Rebecca's Law' would make bullying and cyber-bullying a punishable crime.
According to statistics, nearly half of the 4,400 teenage suicides in the U.S. every year is a result of bullying of some type. The same source shows that 160,000 students stay home from school each day due to a fear of being bullied. It is also estimated that about a third of students in the U.S. endure some type of bullying on a regular basis.
Those who have followed Michael Kittrell from the beginning are hoping that he continues his fight for the rights of bullying victims in the U.S. and across the globe. Even as he rises to fame, the bullying hasn't stopped. On his Youtube videos, there are comments posted every day attacking him because of his hair color.
'Hollywood Hillbillies' can be seen every Tuesday night on Reelz Channel at 9pm Eastern.