Former “That 70’s Show” star Wilmer Valderrama is partnering with Willy Wonka candy NERDS to promote a new “Stomp Out Bullying” campaign.
The Venezuelan native told Showbiz Tonight that when he came to the U.S. at the age of 14, he was often bullied for his thick Spanish accent.
“Because I had an accent, people had this impression that I was dumb,” the actor said. “Eventually I embraced my individuality and embraced my roots. Then I was able to stand my ground,” he added.
All summer long, WONKA is asking teenagers to join the “NERDS Unite!” movement by logging onto Facebook.com/Wonka. There, Facebook users can join the NERDS Unite! Movement, share what they are “a NERD for,” and watch the movement grow.
“Whether your interests lie in books, music, sports, or video games, WONKA believes that we’re all nerdy about something—it’s about celebrating the individuality and differences that make our worlds so much more imaginative, colorful and fun,” said WONKA spokesperson Tricia Bowles of Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks in a press release.
WONKA will make a $25,000 donation to STOMP Out Bullying if at least 10,000 join the Nerds Unite! movement by the end of the year.
“It’s a tough, new world out there for young people dealing with bullying these days,” said Valderrama. “With the Internet and other means of bullying, the NERDS Unite! campaign is as important as ever to remind everyone, young and old, that being different is actually great and totally normal. We all have something we’re passionate or nerdy about, and I love that WONKA is applauding that,” the actor added.