Why Quaden Bayles turned down the Ellen show
Quaden Bayles, the young indigenous boy whose heartbreaking video about bullying went viral last month, turned down an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres for National Indigenous Television (NITV).
A spokesman at SBS told Confidential that nine-year-old Bayles was offered several paid interviews in the US and UK but ultimately agreed to do an unpaid interview with NITV to support the local media network.
"The information is all correct - he was not paid for the interview. The family have a long and trusted association with NITV, having first shared Quaden's story with Living Black in 2015 when Quaden was only four-years-old," the spokesman said.
As first reported by leading media expert Rob McKnight, NITV will air a world exclusive interview with Bayles and his mother Yarraka Bayles on Wednesday night that delves into his tearful video which captured hearts around the world.
Bayles, who was born with Achondroplasia, a common form of Dwarfism, broke down and spoke about wanting to harm himself in the clip filmed by his distraught mother after being bullied at school in Queensland.
"At that time of recording, I just felt hopeless," Yarraka says in NITV's upcoming interview. "I felt really and truly hopeless. Like, what is it going to take for me to lose my son before anything happens? I can't do that. I'm not going to wait."
Celebrities around the world including Hugh Jackman rallied behind Bayles after the video went viral and US comedian Brad Williams, who also lives with achondroplasia, raised $700,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to send the family to Disneyland.
However, the family turned down the kind gesture last week and instead vowed to donate most of the money to charity.
" … My sister said 'you know what, let's get back to the real issue'. This little fella has been bullied. How many suicides, black or white, in our society have happened due to bullying?" Bayles' aunty Mundanara Bayles told SBS.
"We want the money to go to community organisations that really need it. They know what the money should be spent on. So as much as we want to go to Disneyland, I think our community would far more benefit from that."
Bayles' interview airs on The Point at 9.30pm Wednesday on NITV (Ch34).