At the recent Star Trek: Mission Chicago convention at McCormick Place, I had the opportunity to interview actress Chase Masterson. Not only is Masterson a brilliant actress and producer, but she is also a big influencer for positive change. During my interview, my primary focus was to learn more about her Be Kind campaign, in addition to chatting a bit about Star Trek. The goal of the campaign is to help those around the world with mental health challenges. The campaign is linked to school programming and raises awareness about mental health.
Masterson and many other celebrities, such as Matt Smith, David Tennant, and Brent Spiner, take part in this campaign.Thanks to our conversation, I was able to gain insights into how Masterson came up with the idea to grow this anti-bullying non-profit campaign.
I asked Masterson why she founded the campaign and she responded, “I see bullying as a major and devastating problem in the world.” It’s not just traditional bullying alone, but many other forms of bullying as well. “Whether it’s bullying, racism, misogyny, LGBTQIA, cyberbullying, and other forms of injustice, humans oppressing each other is something that should never happen.” As I continued my discussion with Masterson, we went in-depth on the subject as she elaborated on her goal to inspire others with the Be Kind campaign.
Masterson made me realize that bullying of all kinds is still a significant problem around the world. She made it clear, however, that she is not stopping to fight for change. Masterson explained to me how superheroes and icons can play a positive role in those who want to improve their self esteem and gain confidence. “I absolutely believe there are huge and profound messages in superhero movies as there are in Star Trek and Star Wars and other depictions of the heroic journey.” Masterson’s point of view is that heroes can be born when influenced by superhero icons. “These stories teach people that we can be heroes over injustice, we can be heroes for ourselves, and for other people.” Masterson’s explanation of her interesting point-of-view tapped into my emotions. While she talked, I realized that even when I am struggling with negative patterns, there is a world of inspiration out there and many positive role models to follow.
The interview with Masterson gave me a lot to process. I was feeling positive about the campaign and couldn’t help but thinkabout others in the world who are dealing with mental health issues or bullying. The pandemic has led to an increase in mental health conditions, and many are still recovering from what has been lost in uncharted territory. When the interview was wrapping up, I asked Masterson for advice going forward. “The Be Kind movement is such an important message, you wear the shirt because you feel it’s necessary.” I too believe that it is an important message, and one I believe Masterson will keep spreading to make an impact with the Be Kind movement.
For more information on the Be Kind movement and to take part, visit www.popculturehero.org. I am Tarek Fayoumi of movieswithtarek.com, medium.com, approved critic of Bananameter, and member of Chicago Indie Critics.