OLTL Spells Out the ABCs of Bullying

The first thing I noticed when I recently spoke with ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Austin Williams (Shane) was that his voice has completely changed. Then I had to ask the question on everyone’s (okay, my!) mind. Just how tall has he grown? “I was a lot shorter than Farah [Fath, Gigi], and now I’m a lot taller than her,” he notes of his growth spurt. “I’ve been here for three-and-a-half years — it’s got to be, like, a foot!” Williams, with head writer Ron Carlivati, talked about the bullying storyline.Soap Opera Weekly: My heart is breaking for Shane; how are you enjoying playing this storyline?

Austin Williams: It’s really hard to play, because it’s sad to go to that place where everyone just hates you. On the other side, it’s really fun knowing that this really can make a difference in some people’s lives.

Weekly: What’s with Jack Manning, anyway?

Ron Carlivati: He seems like the leader, but in some ways, Jack is a little bit of a follower and just wanting to be part of that popular crowd — as much as he seems like the ringleader.

Weekly: And has it been explained, or will it be, why he’s zeroed in on Shane?

Carlivati: No. We don’t ever see the origin; where it began. It’s very typical of what does happen: [Bullies] just see a kid that’s an easy target, or there’s the kid that’s sitting on the sidelines ’cause he can’t play in the basketball game, or he doesn’t have the latest, coolest sneakers.

Weekly: And Rex and Gigi are still somewhat clueless?

Carlivati: They’re getting a lot closer; it’s reaching that breaking point.

Weekly: Why is Shane still not telling his parents?

Carlivati: He’s scared, he’s embarrassed and he thinks that getting the parents involved is going to make it worse. That’s what does happen with a lot of these kids. They don’t think that they can tell anybody, so they kind of take it and put up with it.

Weekly: Do you relate to what Shane’s going through at all?

Williams: Not to the extent that Shane’s getting it. I go through teasing with my friends, but Shane is singled out and, like, everyone is just out to get him. That’s not what it’s like for me. For me, it’s just normal teen stuff.

Filed Under: