It looks like England’s emo protest movement has achieved something after all. In the Daily Mail coverage of the recent suicide of Sam Leeson, a 13-year-old British My Chemical Romance fan, phrases like “emo suicide cult” are noticeably absent, replaced by references to online bullying the teenager received due to his taste in clothes and bands. Hannah Bond’s “emo initiation” scars are randomly brought up at the end of the piece, but the rest of the article is noticeably more sympathetic to sad children wearing eyeliner, even describing YouTube videos from friends damning Bebo bullies for their treatment of the kid. Maybe the staff doesn’t want to have to risk hearing a youth choir sing “The Black Parade” at them again.
Sam was a fan of alternative rock bands such as the Foo Fighters and Slipknot, as well as so-called Emo music championed by bands such as Blink 182 and Good Charlotte.
The movement – whose name comes from the word ‘emotional’ – is a reference to the angst-ridden lyrics and melancholy themes of the music.
It has become increasingly popular with British teenagers since its inception in America two decades ago.
Followers see the genre as much a fashion as a style of music – with many dying their hair black as well as dressing in dark clothing.
Sam’s sister, Emma, 22, said the year-nine pupil had also been bullied over his interest in the music at his school.
‘He used to laugh about it when people mocked him over his dress sense and music taste so we didn’t realise it was anything serious’, she said.
‘We saw him as always happy and smiling but we now think there has been some name calling about the whole Emo thing. We know some bullying has been going on and we are disgusted and angry about it.”
And a genre’s good name is restored. Way to avoid another one of these, Daily Mail!