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Julia Roberts was bullied as a child. At 2:50, she calls out something that's just as bad.

Julia Roberts knows the pain of bullying. But it's not just the bullies who need a wake up call.

Julia Roberts was bullied as a child. At 2:50, she calls out something that's just as bad.

Julia Roberts is best known for her work on the silver screen, but it's her work off-camera as an advocate for LGBTQ youth that's earning her some serious recognition.

We're used to Roberts charming us filmgoers as America's sweetheart, but she accomplished something a little more meaningful in 2014.

Roberts received the Respect Humanitarian Award from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that works to prevent bullying against the LGBTQ community in schools.


Julia Roberts accepts the GLSEN Respect Humanitarian Award with that winning smile that got you through "Ocean's Twelve." Photo by Jonathan Liebson/Getty Images.

Roberts recently sat down to talk to GLSEN ambassadors about their experiences with bullying.

It's an initiative close to her heart because she suffered at the hands of a childhood bully.

GIF by ABC News.

Even though she's a famous actress now, just like the 3.2 million students who are bullied each year, Julia Roberts remembers from firsthand experience just how painful this brand of cruelty can be.

Now that Roberts is a mother of three, she's concerned about anonymous comments from those who treat bullying as a game.

GIF by ABC News.

At the end of the conversation, Roberts gives a powerful reminder that it's not just the bullies we need to worry about.

We all have a responsibility to help and stick up for each other:

Of the many lessons we've all learned from Julia Roberts over the years — ranging from putting a con man in his place to successfully pulling off blush and bashful this is one we should definitely remember.

via Walt Disney Television / Flickr and The Simpsons Wiki

Actor Hank Azaria's relationship with "The Simpsons" character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon holds a mirror up to how America has progressed as a society on the issue of race over the past three decades. Last year, he announced he'd no longer be performing the character, but that came after a long, slow journey of understanding.

"It's 1988, and somebody says to me, 'Hey, can you do an Indian accent?' It was, like, one line. I said, 'Yeah, I think so.' And Apu comes out. We're like 'OK, that was funny' and we all laugh. So that keeps going from there, and over the years it develops," he revealed on Dax Shepard and Monica Padman's "Armchair Expert" podcast.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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