This Is Us became an instant classic the moment it aired. The show about family, love, and loss touched the hearts of millions all over the world. The cast is so incredible, both on and off the screen, and it makes you root for them week after week.
Thought most people focus on the adults in the cast, the kids who appear in the flashbacks deserve a lot of credit, too. Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, and Lonnie Chavis all bring incredible performances to the screen.
But even though these kids are growing up with a unique childhood, that doesn't mean they become immune to the same bullying that other kids deal with.
Lonnie Chavis, who plays a young Randall Pearson on This Is Us, posted a video to Instagram calling out bullies that make fun of the gap in his teeth. It doesn't appear that there was one specific incident that sparked Chavis's reaction, but it's clear the 10-year-old is tired of the teasing.
I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though? There are kids out there killing themselves just because of y’all hating and trolling and doing just crazy stuff.
I mean, It’s stupid. Is it fun? No. It hurts people. People kill themselves, and you’re the one who’s making them doing it. Fix your heart, though. For real. I’m happy that I can handle this. I can handle this. I’m not tripping. But there are kids out here.
If y’all kids are watching this, don’t trip. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.
Michael Strahan, who also famously has a gap in his teeth, stood up for Chavis as well.
@lonniechavis you are an inspiration my man! You make me proud to rock my gap and your message is exactly on point. Embrace your uniqueness and live your life with happiness! No one is perfect and who really wants to be. #rolemodel 👊🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/uwiwlfJkvg— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) June 26, 2018
Sadly, Chavis isn't the only This Is Us kid to have experienced bullying. Hancsicsak, who portrays a young Kate Pearson, talked about being bullied at school, and how even the on-screen bullying scenes with her character can be tough because they hit so close to home.
Kate Pearson's story involves a lot of struggle with her weight issues, which started when she was younger. There are numerous scenes where young Kate has to hear mean comments or feels badly about herself, which is never easy.
Some scenes can be difficult, but our show’s creator Dan Fogelman has asked my mom if I wanted help on set or if I wanted someone to talk to about certain stuff.
So far, with all the support I get from my “family” on set and from the cast and directors, it’s just been great.
Most of my emotional scenes so far have been with Milo [Ventimiglia]. He helps me be the best that I can be as a struggling little Kate, and I get a lot of love and support from him and everyone on set. It makes me feel loved and safe.
At school one time, we were playing handball at recess, and a kid who I didn’t even know said something mean about my mom. I got really sad and one of my BFF’s took off his shoe and chased the kid away.
I am so lucky to have such amazing friends.
But despite the difficult scenes, Hancsicsak is an avid anti-bullying ambassador, much like Chavis.
I am an ambassador for the Girls Uplifters Team. We try to show young girls how important it is to be kind to one another. It doesn’t feel nice when someone acts mean to me, so I always choose to be kind and to encourage others to be, too. If you can be anything in life, be kind.