Despite having a devoted following of fans, Clay Aiken has run into his fair share of critics and haters. But building up a thick skin is something Aiken did long before fame, and on April 19, 2005, Clay revealed his experiences with bullying and shared his advice with some young people.
The Dr. Phil Show was broken into three segments. In the first segment, the audience was introduced to a 14 year old young lady who was being harassed via the internet. She had been bullied to the point that she was being home schooled. Unfortunately, the bullying had not stopped as many of the students still wrote about her. She had gotten hate emails from across the country.
The second segment was an interview with a parent whose 13 year old daughter bullied so much that she killed herself. The mother reported that the school would not do anything about the bullies.
A 12 year old boy who was a victim of physical bullying was the start of the third segment. Dr. Phil and his son, Jay, talked to the young man about the importance of self-esteem. This is the segment that featured Clay. Dr. Phil’s introduction of Clay was very complimentary. He called Clay a megastar and extremely talented.
After a short film about Clay’s rise to stardom, Clay came onto the stage. The first thing that Dr. Phil showed the audience was Clay’s book, “Learning To Sing.” Dr. Phil said of the book, “it is amazing, incredibly insightful and informing.”
Clay talked to the TV-show host about how being bullied isn’t the end of the world. “It was a really tough time,” he confessed to Dr. Phil. “Middle school’s really tough – I think everybody has trouble with middle school. It’s about finding out who you are and being happy with who you are and being comfortable with who you are, because everybody in middle school is confused.”
Clay did have an opportunity to talk to the two young people who had been highlighted on the show. He talked about how important it is to accept what is important in themselves and to understand that what people say about you is not important. Clay also told the young people how brave they were for being able to talk about this on national television. He suggested that the kids who are doing good things need to stick together because they then can be more powerful that the groups of people who are doing bad things.
At the end of the show, Dr. Phil gave a great plug for Clay’s book and everyone in the audience received a copy of it. Dr. Phil did tell the audience that Clay really only wanted to talk to the kids and didn’t care if his book was even mentioned.
This was an excellent show and Clay was shown as a caring, intelligent man who, although picked on in his early life, was able to find out who he was and developed into a person who was comfortable and happy with whom he became.
The following is a video of some of the highlights of this episode of Dr. Phil.