Chloe Lang is the name of the ten-year-old American actress who plays Stephanie in the next season of the TV series about LazyTown, which is currently being filmed. Chloe is a great athlete who loves to sing and dance. She is excited to see herself on screen. What is your full name and how old are you?My name is Chloe Lang and I am 10 years old. Where are you from? I live in Connecticut,...
The actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson is on his way to Iceland, but lives with his wife Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttur and children in Los Angeles. Stefán will come on February 20 to star in 18 to 20 episodes of Lazytown to be shot in the near future. He is packing. But Stefán Karl, who is not a lonely man, will not only dress up in the costume of Robbie Rotten, the character he portrays in LazyTown, but he will also roll up his sleeves. There is a lot in store for him. Now Rainbow Children need to be pulled up and made more visible.
It attracted a lot of attention in Iceland when Stefán Karl was asked to spread the message of Rainbow Children, which he founded a few years ago – an organization dedicated to fighting bullying and supporting victims of bullying. This is a debate that is not yet very visible in the United States. It is therefore about pioneering work in America. Not an easy task.
“Exactly,” says Stefan. “Look, somewhere I always dreamed that it would be nice to say this to the Americans. But it didn’t have to. Because of the popularity of the Robbie Rotten character, people who interest you are already gathering around you.
More than 100,000 people had viewed my website – a page that wasn’t much. There was information about Rainbow Children, so people found out what it was. Then I started getting emails, and it got more publicity in Iceland as a result of an action by Pálmi Gestsson who raised the issue on his website.”
Robbie Rotten against bullying
Stefán Karl as Robbie Rotten has become world famous. LazyTown now reaches 500 million homes in 48 countries and has taken the top spot as the most popular TV program almost everywhere. In the US, where the television series market is huge, LazyTown ranks second or third. “Yes, the popularity of LazyTown is growing extremely fast. A bigger show than you actually realize. This is children’s content, a TV show, so it’s probably more popular than movies. More generally,” says Stefán Karl.
When asked, Stefán Karl says he doesn’t have permission to use Robbie Rotten, for the ideal of fighting bullying. “I haven’t. But the kids here inevitably know me as Robbie Rotten. And that’s the driving force behind being able to start talking to them the way I do.”
Rainbow Children attracts attention
After Lazytown’s fans watched the Rainbow Children’s information on Stefán’s webpage, parents and teachers began sending him thank-you letters. “I saw it flourish. Several teachers started throwing ideas. I looked on the internet from a distance and researched who was involved. This is such a big community that you don’t know what and who to trust.” During the day it turned out that these were experts, teachers and university graduates in social studies who had gathered. In a short time 200 people had signed up for a support group. I gave in to the pressure and went to give a lecture. Try it.”
Stefán meets American children
Stefan went inland. “Yes, right there in Kansas – where Fargo was shot. There with that weird accent. Home of the cowboys.” The project was worth it, says Stefán, who went to a very special school with his mission. The school is extremely small, in one of the smallest towns in the United States with just 300 people – Buncton School in Missouri. The class that Stefán met was interesting. They had been on radio and television and raised money for the victims of Hurricane Katrína. “Yes, I raised $300, which is a lot for such a small class.” Their teacher Elisabeth had helped them with this and she used LazyTown to teach social studies.”
3% unemployment – 80% below the poverty line
According to the actor, the circumstances were all the most special. Forty percent of the students at the school have parents in prison. There is a high crime rate in this place and massive drug use in homes. “And in children from the age of nine. Drug use by children. Eighty percent of the students live below the poverty line, while there is only three percent unemployment. I have never faced such a problem in my life as at this school. And there I was, as it were, among these children who were exactly the same as any other children, such as the children at the aldutún school in Iceland.” They had a smile on their face and enjoyed seeing the actor and chatting with him.”
Billionaire companies want to sponsor Rainbow Children
After this learning experience, Stefán started to discuss with his people in the organization whether it was time to expand the activities. And now preparations are in full swing to host a lecture tour across the United States. But Stefán emphasizes that it is a long-term, multi-year project. Large companies have already pledged to support the company. Stefán cites as an example the M&M candy company, General Motors, the Hersey sugar factory “Many big companies have given their word and want to support this project. But they will only come in here when everything is in place. For that we need good old financial support at home, because this problem is deplorable.”
Sends the government the tone
Now it is as if it focuses in the mind of the cheerful actor, who explains at length that Iceland is among the richest countries in the world. Nevertheless, the support of our organization was badly needed here. “We have received three million ISK ($ 40,000) a year from the state. We had to fire the manager due to lack of funds. Now there is only one employee, while two hundred clients have to be taken care of. We are going on lecture tours all over the country and also try to hold an open house at the fairs in Hafnarfjörður with “Rainbow Children”
Jón Páll Hallgrímsson, who has worked wonders in bringing this issue to the attention of men between the ages of 18 and 25 where the suicide rate is high, is on a lecture tour in Akureyri and has to close the offices in Hafnarfjörður in the meantime. That’s miserable.”
Support at home is scarce
Stefán says that the financial support from the public sector is in no way related to the need and the many activities that “Rainbow Children” carries out. “We can’t keep doing business forever. It worked the first year. This is scary. The government is starving us. You can say it. Attempted murder. We have repeatedly asked for money. What needs to be done is take these associations and open branches in Ísafjörður, Akureyri and Egilsstaðir.”
Positivism emerges in Stefán when he is asked if it is possible for the company to simply leave the country. “As I’ve said many times, this organization will never die, even if it gets dirty. The results are much greater than people realize. We’ve taken care of people who hit walls.
And I didn’t go far. But now the organization will be more visible.”
Not running a rock band
Stefán says he’s happy to answer questions directed to him about the fact that Rainbow Children isn’t doing much now compared to how it was, after all, he doesn’t run a rock group or a “commercial” theater. “But we have developed activity behind the scenes and will be visible.” When I come home. It’s time to roll up your sleeves.”
The response Stefán and the kids from Buncton School in Missouri received was amazing. The case was picked up by three radio stations and two television stations and the initiative was covered on the front pages of four newspapers in the United States. “It’s been great. We need to follow up on this at home. We need to educate people. Looking for funding to translate all this data into English to present here.”
A great opportunity to spread the word around the world
Britain is also waking up and so is Canada. Stefán Karl has received, among other things, a letter and a telephone call from the deputy minister of education in Canada. “Yes, and Puerto Rico, Argentina… Rainbow Children around the world.
“RC – Rainbow Children, and all this in the early stages, and difficult at times when there is only one person in the office with a salary and then I have 100% work elsewhere. This way it is almost impossible. People need to be hired. And stick to it. This is a great opportunity that we should not pass up. We would like to enlist the help of experts and others to help us capitalize on this opportunity. This is an organization that is not about making money, but just about having enough to help these children and adults, teachers and parents address this problem.”
Strange letters from prisoners and a monk
Stefán Karl’s path in the United States is growing rapidly. Several fan pages have been set up and last year he received 43 thousand letters. “Yes, these are the Americans. 300 million people live here. A certain monk sent me a letter and was quite impressed. He was ready to leave the order and come. I really don’t know what he wanted to do. Spend your life with me. There are so many great things here. Prisoners have sent me letters saying that if I ever end up in jail, I’ll be a prisoner of honor.”
Producing a blockbuster
DV newspaper reported on Thursday that Stefán has received several offers, but that he is contractually bound to LazyTown and does not do everything that is asked of him in Hollywood. “It’s a big misunderstanding that I’m having trouble establishing myself as an actor here. I’ve recently been setting up a production company with my wife, Steinunn Ólína. And we made a deal. We’re going to produce a huge movie. I’m there as a producer and not an actor. But I’ll tell you all about it later,” says Stefán – cheerfully and, despite his great popularity worldwide, is far from putting the fight against bullying on the shelf.