‘Dancing Man’ fat-shamed by cyberbullies gets own back at Hollywood party

A man “fat-shamed” on social media after a video of him dancing was posted online has got his own back by partying with celebrities in Los Angeles.

Sean O’Brien was ridiculed by trolls after the video was posted on 4Chan this year. The 46-year-old financier from Liverpool attracted global support and was nicknamed the “Dancing Man” by a social media campaign – #FindDancingMan – that tracked him down and revealed his identity.

The group behind the campaign, including the American writer Cassandra Fairbanks, at the weekend made good on their promise to give O’Brien a star-studded night in Hollywood. They arranged for him to fly to California for the weekend’s events, which raised money for a range of anti-bullying charities.

Footage of O’Brien dancing happily were posted online in March with the message: “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

It prompted a wave of abuse, which in turn led to a mass outpouring of support from around the world, including from pop stars Ellie Goulding and Pharrell Williams.

— Cassandra (@CassandraRules)
March 6, 2015

YAY TWITTER!!! @Dancingmanfound #FindDancingMan ❤️❤️❤️ We are going to dance!!! pic.twitter.com/G7FxuiSsIh

O’Brien appeared on the Today Show in New York dancing with pop star Meghan Trainor, before partying at the Avalon nightclub in Los Angeles alongside 1,000 supporters including musician Andrew WK, former White House intern turned anti-bullying campaigner Monica Lewinsky, and Williams via video. Moby, who had previously offered his services for free, DJed the event.

Andrew WK told the crowd: “Probably one of the worst things that ever happened to Sean – or that I can imagine happening to anybody – has turned out to probably be one of the best things that has ever happened to him.”

— ANDREW W.K. (@AndrewWK)
May 24, 2015

Partying with @DancingManFound and @WhatsinaDame#DANCEFREE pic.twitter.com/oNcPvQC6hI

On Sunday O’Brien threw the symbolic first pitch at a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, wearing a Dodgers shirt with “Dancing Man” on the back.

He told Good Morning Britain: “It was daunting at first. I was a bit worried about how it all happened but it’s turned into the most wonderful journey, I’ve met some of the most wonderful people you can imagine. It’s been truly life-changing.”

O’Brien predicted he would be bullied again about his weight at some point in the future, but added: “I’ve always had confidence anyway, I’ve always wanted to dance. It’s just people pick on you sometimes. But what it has taught me is just totally ignore them rather than just blanking them.”

— Katy Dolle (@katydolle)
May 24, 2015

On the field w @Dancingmanfound for his first pitch! #dancefree #iamdancingman @CassandraRules @DanceFreeMvmt pic.twitter.com/NVEmMd3KEK

— Justin Dennis (@JustinDennis4)
May 24, 2015

thank you @Dancingmanfound @katydolle @HOPELEIGHMUSIC @CassandraRules and everyone else for this!!! #DANCEFREE 3 pic.twitter.com/jTWClxL7nx

— Tatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli)
May 24, 2015

And it begins!! @Dancinmanfound @HOPELEIGHMUSIC #DANCEFREE #iamdancingman pic.twitter.com/Bx4lRWcm3r

— Annie Mullins (@Annie_R_Mullins)
May 24, 2015

#IAMDANCINGMAN @MonicaLewinsky and @Dancingmanfound wey hey Sean and Monica – tip top!! The PaRtay is going!! pic.twitter.com/B2vb0CHeLU

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