(CBS News) – A mother’s Facebook post is going viral. It shows her son struggling to explain why he’s being bullied. It’s sparking a nationwide outpouring of support for the young man and the raw emotion he publicly shared.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully,” Keaton askes in a video his mother, Kimberly Jones, was recording. “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to ’em? They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly, they say I have no friends.”
Jones asked her son what else the kids did to him that day at lunchtime and he said, “(they) poured milk on me, put ham down my clothes and threw bread at me.”
The post went up Friday morning and before Keaton could return to middle school near Knoxville, Tennessee on Monday, it had been viewed more than 20 million times.
Justin Bieber posted a video saying “This kid is all-time.” He’s a legend. Check him out, his name is Keaton.”
And like that, everyone seemed to want to be Keaton’s Friend.
Actor Chris Evans invited Keaton to a movie premiere, tweeting “Stay strong, Keaton. I promise it gets better.”
Mark Ruffalo wrote to Keaton, too, saying “You are about one of the coolest kids I have ever seen.”
And Hailee Steinfeld posted on Twitter: “I would love you, Keaton, to be my date to the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere on Tuesday.”
The head of the UFC, Dana White, invited him to UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, and University of Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano posted a picture arm in arm with Keaton with the following caption: “Now I have the little brother I always wanted.”
Keaton’s mom responded to all the attention with this statement:
I’m humbled by the voice my boy has been given. But he is still just a little boy who desperately wants acceptance. I have to navigate him through the difference in true acceptance and attention.”