‘Glee’ Star Amber Riley Talks Anti-Bullying Campaign + How It Ties Into the Show
Thanks to her role as Mercedes on 'Glee,' Amber Riley has become somewhat of a role model for young girls. Unlike a lot of scantily-clad pop stars though, the 'Glee' famer believes she has a duty to fulfill, and doesn't want to let the little women down. Riley has hopped aboard Secret's Mean Stinks anti-bullying program so that she can provide her fans with a go-to source.
"I wanted to get involved because my character on 'Glee' always gets so many letters from young girls, and I'm always asked for advice on tough issues," Amber tells JSYK. "I can now give more information on how to help so it was really exciting for me. You know, I am just trying to do my part, and do my duty and help young women."
Even though the New Directions glee club faces a ton of bullying on the show, Amber says she's never actually been a victim, thankfully -- but she knows a bully when she sees one. "I have been made fun of and teased, you know, like every other person, like in 5th grade when you go through that awkward stage," she says. "But I've never really had to deal with being bullied like being beat-up."
The big-voice 'Glee' star adds, "I have dealt with bullying, I've been around it. I had a friend in high school who actually was a bully and I separated myself from her because I didn't want to be associated with that and I didn't want people to think that I was that way. It's not in my nature to be mean."
Of course, because bullying is such a relevant and real topic, Amber spills that 'Glee' will likely continue writing it into the plot in Season 3. "It is still a big issue in the US and I know that was a big reason that the show wanted to tackle it, because it's something that is very prevalent in high school," Riley says. "There are a lot of fights in high school and everyone wants to be the "top dog" and sometimes they don't know how to be themselves. They have to belittle and put other people down. I think the Glee Club gets bullied, period!"
Above all else, the 'Glee' star hopes that, as both Amber Riley and as Mercedes, she will be able to give kids what they need to help them avoid troublesome situations. "I'm hoping that girls are informed and educated, I'm hoping that it becomes a conversation in girls' circles amongst their friends, and people open their eyes that it's not cool, and mean really does stink," Amber says. "It's not cool to be mean."
Watch Amber Riley Perform Adele's 'Someone Like You'