Octavia Spencer thinks TV news anchor Jennifer Livingston did the right thing by speaking out against a viewer who criticized her weight.
However, the Oscar winner isn't quite convinced that Livingston was actually bullied.
"She stood up for herself and I appreciate that," Spencer said last night at GLSEN's Respect Awards in Beverly Hills. "I don't necessarily know that it was bullying."
Spencer recently wrote and directed a short film about the topic inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem, "If." "It's about a young boy who has to face down bullying every day at school but he doesn't let that get him down," she said. "He perseveres and turns into a man with great honor and achievement."
The Help star warned that being criticized and "facing coercion or physical repercussions on a daily basis" are two "very different" things.
"I think we have to be very careful about using and overusing the term because we desensitize ourselves to it," Spencer said.
Livingston told E! News exclusively yesterday that she doesn't consider herself a "bullying expert," but said that she's glad the controversy "sparked an important conversation about bullying."