Soaps.com sat down to speak to Michael Muhney this week for an important and timely discussion about bullying on social media, and to dish on his controversial "Y&R" character, Adam Newman.
Not to put too light a point on bullying on social media, and not to get too heavy handed with it either... My celebrity status isn’t huge, but I can relate to celebrities in that I get recognized all the time and work in television. I sort of feel like I have this duplicitous life where I’m a celebrity on a very small scale but a regular person on the other hand, and I’ve noticed that as social media has grown over the past ten or twelve years, people are getting more and more brutal. The way I see online social media heading, if people aren’t careful - it’s a complaint box. If you stay in a nice hotel for a weekend and everything is perfect, you leave without event; you stay silent and go on with your life. If you stay at that same hotel and get awful service or something’s wrong, you go out of your way to fill out a complaint. So, that comment box in the lobby is filled by the complainers. I think that’s what social media is getting dangerously close to becoming – a place for all the grumpy people to vent and to be rude, crass, and judgmental; to connect dots that aren’t even there - and they’re pretty brutal. Twitter, this phenomenon where the actor, entertainer, or artist has a chance to speak back, speak out, squash rumors, or comment about something in real time, I see as an opportunity for the celebrities to speak back as regular people, and to kind of stand up for themselves.
I want to speak out and tell people they don’t know who I am, and they don’t know who we are on Twitter. They get a little sneak peek from comments that we make, but I certainly can’t judge anyone I know by a few comments they make on Twitter, so I don’t expect that coming my direction. Nevertheless, some people will do that, and get cruel and harsh, and they’ll have conspiracy theories about you being a bad person. I’m very sensitive to bullying because of some experiences I had growing up, but I’m also very outspoken. Since I was young, I liked to speak up for the underdog. Because I spoke out so much in junior high and high school, trying to help other people, I was brutally beaten up when I was thirteen years old by one of the biggest, strongest guys in school. I spent those years being hit, beaten, tripped in the hallways, you know, stuff thrown at me, by this guy and his couple of friends. In high school, this guy targeted me on the football field, came and hit me after the whistle, and snapped my femur in half. Later, when I was in college, I found out that the same guy raped a younger relative of mine. So I’ve carried hardcore baggage about bullying with me my whole life.
I just have never changed. I speak out against systems that I think are broken, whether it be the Emmy process, actors that I feel that were overlooked, or voting polls – all that kind of stuff. I’m a huge proponent for the NOH8 campaign and gay marriage. I just sympathize with people who are being bullied. What’s interesting is that as a grown man, father, and professional, I’m speaking out about some things that could get fixed and it’s causing some bullying. I knew that speaking out would make me a target, but it doesn’t mean I won’t fight back. I just think [online bullying] is a really important issue, especially now with YouTube and all the social media where you see teens that are committing suicide through bullying. I’m always going to speak up, and people will form certain opinions about me, but I still believe it’s the right thing to do.
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Posted By: pray4them |
3/05/13 3:26 PM
Wow I would never have thought he was bullied he is so adorable how can you bully that face
Posted By: marynelle |
1/01/14 5:16 PM
Michael as I admire you for standing up and speaking out on what you believe. I may not agree on some issues, but I do admire you. My heart is broken that you are not Y&R and have turned the show off. I do not believe rumors about you. You are an amazing actor. Hated Adam for so long, but the writers redeemed you and I love Adam now (but always admired you as an actor who brought Adam to life and made us hate and love him). I wish you and your family happiness, good health and success. I have a feeling someone is gong to grab you up and we'll be seeing you on the screen real soon. God Bless you and your family.