Disney Channel stars Maxwell Simkins and Dakota Lotus are opening up about their past experiences with bullying through a newly released song called “Dear Mr. Bully.”

“I was writing the song. I just began to write it, and I asked [Dakota] if he wanted to be on it and write it with me,” Maxwell — who stars on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers — tells J-14 exclusively. Dakota — who stars in Coop and Cami Ask the World — adds, “I remember we were like kind of bouncing ideas to each other through social media a little bit and, kind of, getting the idea together. … It was all, kind of, just coming together, and then we finally got to really meet up. In this one recording studio, we just like laid down the idea.”

Both actors have been open about their experiences with bullying over the years. Maxwell, for his part, tells J-14 how watching his “idols” on the Disney Channel series Jessie helped him through it all.

“I was bullied my whole life,” the 14-year-old shares. “I was beaten up a lot at school. I went thought a lot. It’s actually where I started acting, or comedy in a sense, because [of] Cameron Boyce. Whenever I was beat up or had a horrible day, I would watch Jessie, and Jessie got me through a lot.”

After watching the show as a way to make himself feel better, Maxwell decided to become an actor in order to help other kids who may be going through the same thing.

“My whole life, I felt like acting always was never something that I could really, honestly do,” he explains. “I thought comedy was a way to make other people happy and make other people laugh. Well, Cameron did that for me and the whole cast. Growing up, all their shows made me so happy, and they made me laugh. And I felt like if I could do that to 10 people, make them go through a better scenario, I mean, that’s incredible.”

While Dakota says the bullying he received in the past was “not as bad” as his friend’s, the 16-year-old actor notes that, unfortunately, “everyone has their experiences” with bullying.

“I feel like it’s so great that we can come together and really talk about it. Because it’s a big problem. And I feel like nowadays, not a lot of people talk about these real-world issues that are going on, especially through music and stuff. So, we were like, ‘Yo, we have, we have this talent that we can share to the world and express these problems that are going on.’ So we thought, ‘Why not, you know, do it on bullying and stand up.'”

Maxwell and Dakota’s single, “Dear Mr. Bully,” is out now!

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