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Chilli Takes Stand Against Cyberbullying After Son Is Targeted

Chilli
Brad Barket, Getty Images

Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas of TLC is taking action against cyberbullying after gossip site MediaTakeOut crossed the line and took aim at her son.

It’s sort of an unwritten rule to refrain from attacking minors, but the site did just that. MediaTakeOut published an article that made speculations about 16-year-old Tron Austin’s sexuality based off his attire.

Chilli responded by creating a petition through change.org to get the article removed from the site and ban staff from gossiping about minors altogether. In her petition, the singer uses her relatable position of being a mother rather than her celebrity to appeal to readers.

“MediaTakeOut.com has posted numerous false stories about me, and other celebrity friends of mine and while I don’t like it, I realize that is a part of what comes with celebrity,” Chilli says. “However when my 16-year-old son is being attacked, that is when I take off the celebrity hat and become the protective Mother that I am, and I know many of you are.”

She also extended her defense toward cyberbullying in general. Even though it was the victimizing of her son that led her to the petition, Chilli points out that this is a widespread problem with dangerous consequences.

Fifty-two percent of students said they were cyberbullied at one point, she cites. Also, 12 out of 15 school shooters in the ’90s admitted to being bullied and bullying victims are two to nine times likely to commit suicide.

The TLC member ended her petition with a simple demand: “The articles need to be removed from MediaTakeOut.com and an apology issued to my son.”

MediaTakeOut has since removed the problematic article from the site and founder Fred Mwangaguhunga even issued an apology.

“As many of you are aware, MediaTakeOut.com has a strict policy against criticizing children, whether children of celebrities or otherwise,” Mwangaguhunga says in a statement. ” It’s not clear how an article that clearly violated our stated policy was published, but rest assured that I will get to the bottom of it. I plan to take action against the MTO staffer who wrote the article, and put in place additional safeguards to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

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