Hugh Jackman tells bullied schoolboy Quaden Bayles: ‘You’ve got a friend in me’

A mother named Yarraka Bayles live-streamed a video of her nine-year-old Quaden on Facebook as he sobbed uncontrollably following an incident with another pupil at his school. Quaden was born with achondroplasia – the most common form of short-limbed Dwarfism – which Yarraka says has resulted in constant teasing from his peers, SBS‌ reports.

The video has been viewed over 17 million times on the social media platform, and received more than 315K shares and nearly 150K comments. Ms Bayles revealed to NITV News that the incident that occurred earlier that day involved another student at Quaden’s school “patting him on the head like a little puppy” and “making references to his height”.

Since live-streaming the video on Facebook, Ms Bayles says she has received an outpouring of support from the community, but also been criticized for the way she handled the situation. She says:

“I have copped a lot of backlash for it, I thought twice about deleting it […] but I wanted people to see the effect bullying is having on my child. If I don’t stand up and speak out for him, who will?”

However, the family has received a lot of positive responses from a range of people. First, comedian Brad Williams, who also has Dwarfism, started a GoFoundMe in an attempt to raise $10,000 to help send Quaden and his mother from Australia to Disneyland in California, the GoFundMe has raised a staggering $192K – approximately 20x the original target.

Taking to Twitter, Jackman shared a video to his 14.1 million followers simply captioned: “Quaden – you’ve got a friend in me.”

On the video Jackman tells Quaden: “Quaden, you are stronger than you know mate, and no matter what, you’ve got a friend in me. So, everyone lets please be kind to each other – bullying is not OK.”

The 51-year-old Australian actor added: “Life is hard enough, so let’s remember, every person in front of us is facing some kind of battle, so let’s just be kind.”

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