Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood: Stars Address Online Bullying and Giving Back

Elle Fanning Jaden Smith

The brightest young actors and influencers descended upon NeueHouse Hollywood Tuesday night for Variety‘s Power of Young Hollywood event, presented by Pixhug.

The night’s honorees — Ansel Elgort, Cameron Dallas, Elle Fanning, Bethany Mota and Jaden Smith — all shared what it’s like navigating the entertainment industry at their age. For Fanning and Smith, who have been acting for years, fame has been a constant in their lives. For social media stars Dallas and Mota who became instantly — or Instagramly — famous, it’s been more of a challenge.

All agreed that one of the downfalls of living in the social media age is being constant targets of criticism — and learning how to deal with it. “Whenever someone’s bullying me I think, what’s going on with this person,” explained Mota. “There has to be something going on in their lives that makes them not want to spread positivity. So it’s almost an opportunity to help someone rather than letting it affect you.”

Fanning agreed, saying, “Social media does do a lot of good; you can share a little part of yourself with fans. There’s definitely the good and the bad.”

Inside of the party, each of the five honorees spoke about using their fame for good. “We’re the future,” Elgort told the crowd, but encouraged them to act now.

“Using my platform on social media, I’ve been able to work with UNICEF, which has been incredible for me because I’ve loved their work in the past,” Mota said. “And PACER as well because I got into YouTube because I was cyberbullied, so to be able to go to high schools and middle schools to tell my story and to empower other people to express who they are is just a dream come true.”

Smith’s cause is the environment. “I want to create a bottle of water that is made from renewable resources, that is not made from plastic, that you don’t need petroleum, that you don’t need oil, that you don’t need to go to war for this bottle. This is a bottle of water that is for the people, the environment, that is for the human race.”

Other attendees included “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner, now a bright blonde (her natural hair color); “Modern Family’s” Ariel Winter (who also spoke about her charity, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles) and Nolan Gould; “Black-ish’s” Marcus Scribner and Miles Davis; Skai Jackson; “Roots” star G Hannelius; and social media star Connor Franta.

Attendees took selfies at the Pixhug booth and were treated to hors d’oeuvres and cocktails (non-alcoholic for the under-21 guests).

See more photos from the event here.