DISconnected Premieres On MTV Tomorrow Night

October 9, 2011 — 1

When the police showed up, they found more than a hundred teenagers logged on to the live stream on Abraham Biggs’ computer screen, all watching Abraham lying on his bed.  Dead.

That was November 19, 2008; the 19-year-old Biggs had committed suicide while broadcasting on his channel.  Many of those watching had taunted and cheered him on as he downed an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepines. He was also struggling with bipolar disorder.  No one tried to help.  No one called the police.

When Ashley Simon first brought the story of Abraham Biggs in at MTV, everyone who read it had the same reaction: We need to tell this story. We don’t care how long it takes, people need to see this.

Maggie Malina, the creative force driving so many original TV movies on MTV, was among the first champions of the project. I remember our first call after she read Ashley’s pitch. She brought on writer/director Leslie Libman.

Jason Rzepka, my close friend and Vice President of Pro Social & Public Affairs for MTV, was already in the midst of developing MTV’s now hugely impactful digital abuse campaign, A THIN LINE, and realized right away that this story could bring to life so much of what MTV’s campaign sought to accomplish.

It’s hard to say this, but the story of Abraham Biggs is far from  uncommon.  Look at the statistics:

      – 17% of young people have been threatened or manipulated online or via text

      – 14% have been threatened with physical harm online or via text

      – 25% say their boyfriend or girlfriend has read their email/texts without permission

      – Nearly 1 in 5 sext recipients have passed the sext on to someone else

      – 29% of young people have had rumors spread about them online or via text

In Maggie and Leslie’s hands, and because of MTV President Stephen Friedman and Head of Programming Chris Linn, this story is getting told, this movie got made.  As a result of Jason’s campaign to end cyber-bullying, there are things we can do right now to protect ourselves and each other.  Even the most vulnerable among us — kids like Abraham Biggs.

DISconnected premieres tomorrow (Monday) night at 9pm EST on MTV.

Here’s the trailer. Please watch. Please pass it on.

One comment


    February 27, 2023 at 6:37 am

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