Sean O'Brien finally got his dance party. Take that, anonymous online bullies!
In March 2015, after pictures intended to mock a man named Sean O'Brien went viral, a group of anti-bullying advocates decided to right that wrong.
Pictures of O'Brien made their way around sites Reddit and 4chan in an all-too-common example of anonymous cyberbullying.
What do you do for someone shamed for dancing? You throw him the world's best dance party, obviously.
Anyone know this man or who posted this? There's a huge group of ladies in LA who would like to do something special pic.twitter.com/DGbu3AXOrB
— Cassandra (@CassandraRules) March 5, 2015
O'Brien even found himself with some celebrity support.
Hey @CassandraRules keep me posted about your dance party! @Dancingmanfound, never be ashamed of yourself. You are both truly #OTHER🙏
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) March 6, 2015
I want to dance with #dancingman and play at the party.
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) March 8, 2015
i offer my dj services for free for #DancingMan #DancingManFound #FindDancingMan . no one should ever be ashamed about dancing.
— moby XⓋX (@thelittleidiot) March 6, 2015
More than $40,000 was crowdfunded to host the party and fly O'Brien in from the U.K.
All additional funds went to anti-bullying organization The Cybersmile Foundation.
On May 24, O'Brien was joined by celebrities, anti-bullying advocates, and supporters in what has to be one of the world's most amazing dance parties.
Have fun tonight @dancingmanfound @CassandraRules. The whole world is dancing with you #DancingMan #DANCEFREE
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) May 24, 2015
It was a party... @BeatrizVNews @Dancingmanfound @DanceFreeMvmt @CassandraRules pic.twitter.com/Ly131Crd9P
— ANDREW W.K. (@AndrewWK) May 24, 2015
But that's not all!
While he was in town, O'Brien stopped by "The Today Show," where he danced with Meghan Trainor, and threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game.
Adorable! @Meghan_Trainor breaking it down with #DancingMan! #MeghanTODAY pic.twitter.com/C8xxFv1RG1
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 22, 2015
Pretty much on-target there, Sean!
Hopefully this is the start of a much larger trend of standing up for people who are bullied, and for treating each other with a bit more respect.
Sadly, the vast majority of people targeted by bullies online won't get a dance party and a celebrity-filled tour of L.A. in exchange for the trauma they endure. But Sean's story gives me hope. While a dance party might seem small on the larger scale of things, it's always wonderful to see people speaking up to protect those of us in need.