Whitney Was to Shoot Antibullying Campaign on Last Day
BY Neal Broverman
February 17 2012 11:40 AM ET
Whitney Houston was to lend her image to a campaign urging an end to bullying based on "your color, your sexual orientation, or how much you weigh," but her death in a Beverly Hills hotel room prevented the photo shoot from happening.
Us Weekly reports that a photographer for the Stop Bullying Now campaign was waiting for Houston February 11 and that her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, offered to stand in for her mother to set up the lighting. After becoming concerned over her mother's failure to show up at the shoot, Brown checked on Houston and was informed of the tragic news by the star's staffers.
The campaign is officially titled "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil" and is described in a press release as "an initiative that will reach parents and children, while providing tools needed to successfully cope with bullying." Entertainment consultant Raffles van Exel, a friend of Houston's, is producing the campaign through his company Raffles Entertainment. The antibullying message is carried out through a mascot, Miles the Monkey. Celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt posed with a stuffed Miles the Monkey at a Grammy gifting suite this weekend.
Contacted by The Advocate, van Exel was too upset to speak about Houston, with her wake occurring Friday evening.
"We, as celebrities have a unique opportunity to show children and teenagers that WE DO CARE, and that THEY have the POWER to stand up for themselves," Van Exel had written in a press release. "Children reach out and identify with celebrities like Lady Gaga because celebrities are often the voice of the voiceless. Let us use our collectives voices to STOP BULLYING NOW."
Miles the Monkey's Facebook page has more on the effort: "I will be traveling across the globe with a message of acceptance, tolerance and taking a stand against bullying. You'll see pictures, PSAs, and videos of me with my celebrity friends and of course, YOU ... Bullying is NOT OKAY. Bullying is not a rite of passage and it's time that we all take a STAND against it. It doesn't matter what your color is, your sexual orientation, or how much you weigh; we all have a right to go to school and to work in peace without being harassed and bullied! Take a stand! STOP BULLYING NOW!"
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