You don't need a cape or have to be on TV to be a superhero. For millennial internet attorney, Andrew Rossow, his national anti-cyberbullying campaign is soaring the skies finding its way into Hollywood and Comic-Con events across the country.
Over the past three years, Hollywood has encountered a darkness that is taking the "fame, glory, and entertainment" out of the red-carpet scene.
Rossow, 29, who also practices law full time while running a national news outlet, GritDaily (https://on.msnbc.com/2YuaHOO), in addition to an entertainment/social media agency, added another venture to his plate of to-do's—advocating on a national level against cyberbullying.
Shortly after passing the Bar Exam, he launched the #CYBERBYTE Challenge—an anti-cyberbullying social media movement to help spread awareness on the dangers of cyberbullying throughout Hollywood and Silicon Valley. [https://bit.ly/2T4Klmx]
The Challenge requires the participant to record a short video of themselves to fans about either a personal experience they had with bullying and tips on how they've stood up against it.
Having made a large appearance at FanX Salt Lake last year and CES 2018 in Las Vegas, #CYBERBYTE made another big appearance at Wizard World in Cleveland, Ohio last month.
Rossow was able to re-connect with Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum [[https://bit.ly/2V89RFb], who previously joined the Challenge back at FanX in Salt Lake. Rosenbaum's latest project, "Inside of You," is a webcast designed to dive deeper into many of Hollywood's personalities by talking about personal, life experiences in their career. [https://bit.ly/2YItKoL]
In addition to Rosenbaum, other CW figures including Supernatural's Misha Collins [https://bit.ly/2WzwBhG] and Alaina Huffman [https://bit.ly/2U9XpZ7], Charmed's Brian Krause [https://bit.ly/2JXCF24], and One Tree Hill's Chad Michael Murray [https://bit.ly/2Ub3Tad] also joined the #CYBERBYTE and recorded their videos.
A New 'Digital Weapon'
We learned Rossow's inspiration behind #CYBERBYTE came from both his personal experience with bullying as well as his upbringing into a digital age:
"When I was younger, I was always the little guy—smaller than most of my friends. I didn't understand how to stand up for myself, let alone, distinguish a joke from an insult. I had a lot of bottled up anger that came out at the wrong times, to the wrong people. It wasn't until I went through law school that I knew what I was supposed to do—to act as a resource for those who couldn't help themselves, by reaching out to those who run the entertainment space."
On social media since the beginning stages of Xanga and MySpace, Rossow emphasized today's inability to communicate face-to-face, because of the ease of tech.
"In high school, it was Xanga and MySpace—there was no Facebook. Initially, Facebook required a college ".edu" email address to join, and you had to be invited by someone with that email to join the forbidden world. Of those select few invited, I've witnessed the rapid advancement and evolution of social media."
But, the desire to be appreciated in a digital age today, according to the attorney, has led to a serious increase in insecurity and self-loathing. "Convenience will always trump privacy. The age of the internet allows us to hide behind our devices, putting up a façade of someone we aren't. It's a new digital weapon of sorts."
According to the attorney, bullying is no longer limited to the classroom. It follows us home in our pockets—from the office, school, or other extracurricular activities. The issue, he said, is standing up to someone you have never actually met.
"Growing up, I idolized many of these Hollywood figures, without understanding why. Now, I'm at an age now where I appreciate them for who they are and what they stand for. With the #CYBERBYTE Challenge, fans across the world can now connect with them on a more personal level."
Other public figures who have participated in the #CYBERBYTE include, but aren't limited to:
1. Skye Marshall (Black Lightning) [https://bit.ly/2HPWDu5]
2. Camille Hydes (American Vandal) [https://bit.ly/2HPWDu5]
3. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) [https://bit.ly/2VaWzrN]
4. E.G. Dailey (Rugrats) [https://bit.ly/2FS1yIA]
5. Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Scooby-Doo) [https://bit.ly/2COxcEN]
6. John DiMaggio (Futurama) [https://bit.ly/2Uqsebx]
7. Mike O'Laskey (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) [https://bit.ly/2HTpy02]
8. Greg Cipes (DC's Beast Boy) [https://bit.ly/2COxhIB]
9. Sal Velluto (Marvel) [https://bit.ly/2CN5Pes]
10. Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show) [https://bit.ly/2YIr36p]
11. Leonhart (Pokemon Star) [https://bit.ly/2uDf78i]
12. Gavin Magnus (Disney) [https://bit.ly/2FIp4Xm]
13. DJ Gareth Emery [https://bit.ly/2JWvc3j]
14. Jennifer Cohen (Nike) [https://bit.ly/2Ve6HjA]
15. Amanda Cooksey (Musician) [https://bit.ly/2TRlpv3]