The 15-year-old star, who portrays Eleven in the massively popular Netflix series, was crowned Unicef’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador in 2018 following the work she’s done in the past with anti-bullying campaigns. Unfortunately, her support for those going through difficult situations where bullying is involved came from a very personal place, as Brown found herself dealing with it at an earlier age.
“I was bullied at school back in England. I actually switched schools because of it, it created a lot of anxiety and issues that I still deal with today,” she shared in a new Glamour interview where she and fellow actor Orlando Bloom discussed what it means to her to be an activist.
“I have dealt with situations both in real life and online that are soul-breaking and it genuinely hurts reading some of the things people have said,” she continued. “Being in this industry we have become so aware of negativity and it’s made me appreciate the love so much more. People receive so much love on social media and then only focus on the hate.”
Brown has continued to use her platform as an important way to speak out on the issues that matter to her, as she used her Favorite TV Actress Award acceptance speech from the 2018 Kids’ Choice Awards to speak out about crimes committed with guns, honoring the victims of the Parkland school shootings with a special T-shirt. She also spoke out about bullying during the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Shortly afterward, Brown accepted the role of Unicef’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador on World Children’s Day, vowing to “speak out for the millions of children whose voices have been silenced for far too long.”
“Young people’s lives are increasingly under pressure,” she told Bloom, speaking on what she’d like to accomplish while in the role. “First of all, I want to make sure that children are protected from violence and exploitation. I also want to combat the negativity on social media – I have experienced it – it’s like a disease. It’s negative hate that is genuinely so horrifying to me.”
Brown will be making her big-screen debut in Godzilla: King of the Monsters on May 31, 2019.