Liam Hackett

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Doctor (Honoris Causa), FRSA

Liam Hackett
Liam Hackett.jpg
Born (1991-01-19) 19 January 1991 (age 30)
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
OccupationFounder and CEO of Ditch the Label and Author
AgentNorthbank Talent

Liam Hackett (born 19 January 1991 in St Helens) is an activist, entrepreneur and author best known as the founder and CEO of the global equality and anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label. Hackett is also known as one of the stars of Huffington Post's reality series, 'The New Activists'[1][2] also appearing in MTV's Geordie OG's series one.[3]

Hackett's debut book 'FEARLESS' was published by Scholastic in 2020.[4][5]

Hackett is a regular contributor towards the global conversation surrounding technology and bullying and has advised the British, European and American Governments[6][7][8] and speaks often at the United Nations[9][10][11] in addition to writing for the United Nations about technological progression and challenges.[12]

In 2017 he became the youngest person to receive an honorary degree from the University of Sussex.[13]

Early life[edit]

Hackett grew up in St Helens, United Kingdom and experienced both physical and emotional bullying at school. In the last few years at his secondary school, he was physically assaulted outside of school, causing him to be hospitalised. Hackett has said in some interviews that the bullying he experienced was homophobic.[14]

Hackett first came out as bisexual and, in his college years, he came out as gay.[15] After college Hackett moved to Brighton to study business and management at the University of Sussex.[16][17][18] He graduated in 2012 and has since been made notable alumnus.

Founding of Ditch the Label[edit]


After years of being told to 'ignore' those that were bullying him and failing to find adequate support elsewhere, Hackett took to the internet to post about his experiences of being bullied. He talked openly about the extreme verbal and physical bullying he had experienced, including his hospitalisation after a homophobic attack by a group of people from school.

The online community rapidly expanded - soon thousands of people were seeking help, advice and comfort in the forum - the movement became so large, that in 2006 Hackett launched a specific MySpace profile to host the conversations that were taking place online and named it ‘Ditch the Label’.[19]

Despite his young age, Hackett recognised the potential of Ditch the Label - the positive impact it could have upon young people and society at large. With drive and determination to help those who were in need, he approached the local Chamber of Commerce in 2007. Aged 16, he became the first person below the age of 18 to receive a grant in his local area to develop a Ditch the Label website - an online hub dedicated to helping and supporting those that had been impacted by bullying - prior to its inception, this had not existed elsewhere on the web.

Official Registration[edit]

Ditch the Label continued to grow in momentum[20] behind the scenes as Hackett simultaneously studied for his degree at the University of Sussex.[20] In 2012, he graduated with a degree in business and management and immediately registered Ditch the Label as a legal entity and began to formally develop the organisation. As a new graduate without financial aid or backing, he sold his personal possessions to fund the organisation, such was his belief and commitment to spreading awareness, campaigning for equality and helping those in need. He would continue to work without a wage, funding Ditch the Label out of his own pocket for the next three to four years.[21]

In March 2014, Ditch the Label was officially recognised and registered as a charity in the UK.[21]

Expansion to USA and Mexico (2016)[edit]

In 2016 Ditch the Label announced their international expansion into the United States of America as "Ditch the Label" and as "Deja Las Etiquetas" in Mexico. Shortly after, Ditch the Label gained 501(c)(3) status in the US and then opened their office in Los Angeles. Hackett splits his time between both offices.


Toxic masculinity and Lewis Hamilton[edit]

In 2017, Hackett publicly called out Hamilton for 'shaming his nephew' in response to a Tweet that Hamilton posted with a video of his nephew wearing a dress. As a result, there was a backlash launched against Hamilton and in response he removed the video and issued an apology.[22]

Body fascism and Kim Kardashian[edit]

Hackett publicly called out Kardashian in response to her promotion of 'appetite suppressant lollipops', touting the impact that such promotion can have on the rates of eating disorders, Hackett called on the removal of the photo. The image was removed without apology.[23]

Accessibility at Brighton Pride[edit]

In 2019, Hackett publicly called out Brighton Pride for their alleged discrimination against pride-goers with a disability after his relatives were confined to a 'disability tent' with no view of the stage. A backlash ensued with thousands turning to Twitter, with many sharing their own experiences and some calling for a complete boycott. [24][25]

Press and media - key features[edit]



  • Responding to an online video, Hackett calls out Lewis Hamilton for 'shaming his nephew'[29]
  • Hackett discusses social media and the impact it has on society at the Oxford Union[30]
  • In response to #MeToo, Hackett links rape culture with 'toxic masculinity'[31]
  • Hackett joined the presenters of 'This Morning' to discuss the story of Keaton Jones[32]
  • Instagram named as the worst platform for online abuse, Hackett says[33][34][35]
  • In response to new research, Hackett talks about online abuse within gaming environments[36]
  • Hackett campaigns for app SimSimi to be banned[37][38]
  • In partnership with the Children's Commissioner for England, Hackett calls on social networks to be more "child friendly"[6]
  • Hackett talks about young people not conforming to 'traditional labels of sexuality'[39][40]


  • Speaking at We Day in Wembley Arena to 12,000 people, Hackett describes the journey of Ditch the Label[41][42]
  • Hackett talks about the psychology behind bullying in response to new research that finds those who are victimised to bullying are likely to perpetrate[43][44][45]

2015 and earlier

Hackett regularly speaks through the media on topics related to bullying. In one of his first interviews, Liam spoke on The Surgery with Alex for BBC Radio 1 about his own personal experiences of bullying[46] - as an ambassador for equality, Hackett understands the importance of sharing his own personal story and journey - providing a role model and tangible success story for young people experiencing prejudice to look up to.

He has also commented on how bullying can affect children from wealthy families for articles in The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.[47][48]

On July 2014, Hackett gave an exclusive insight into his experiences with homophobic bullying and his coming out story to Gay Star News [49]

Hackett spoke on Sky News about the sudden rise in cases of cyberbullying,[50] he later debated the issues on Channel 5 News, where he frequently discusses bullying and the lives of young people.[51][52] Following a major new Ditch the Label research report Hackett gave advice to young people via Sky News on how to overcome cyberbullying.[53] He also spoke about the report on Good Morning Britain and urged key stakeholders to take action.[54]

Hackett has contributed articles about the current climate of bullying within the UK's education system for SecEd Magazine and the British Journal of School Nursing.[55][56] In October 2013, Hackett was interviewed on Chinese state television broadcaster CCTV discussing issues surrounding cyberbullying.[57]


  • Top 30 charity chief executive on social media[58]
  • Received a grant from St Helens Chamber of Commerce before he was 18, enabling him to launch the Ditch the Label website, this later evolved into the charity (2007)[59]
  • Shortlisted "Entrepreneur of the Year"[60] and "Organisation of the Year" - National Diversity Awards (2013)
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts - FRSA (2014)[61]
  • Winner of "Best European Marketing Campaign 2014" in European Diversity Awards. (2014)[citation needed]
  • Winner of "Young Business Person of the Year" in the Sussex Business Awards for his work with Ditch the Label (2014)[62]
  • Winner of "European Campaigner of the Year" - Highly Commended in European Diversity Awards (2015)[63]
  • Notable Alumni - University of Sussex [64]
  • He has worked closely with, and written for the UN, as well as other governmental agencies.[65]
  • Sits on the advisory board of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, of which Ditch the Label is a core member.[66]
  • Sits on the task force of the 5Rights initiative headed by The Children's commissioner for England.[citation needed]


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  29. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (26 December 2017). "Lewis Hamilton Mocks Nephew For Wearing A 'Princess Dress' On Christmas". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
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  31. ^ Kara Fox; Jan Diehm. "#MeToo's global moment: the anatomy of a viral campaign". CNN. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
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  40. ^ McNamara, Brittney. "Most Young People Don't Identify as Straight, Survey Says". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
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  43. ^ "Anti-Bullying Week Study Shows Us The Facts On Online Bullying | LADbible". 18 November 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  44. ^ Ellis, Mark (18 April 2016). "Victims of bullying most likely to become bullies themselves". mirror. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
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  56. ^ Hackett, Liam (2013). "Seven in 10 Under 18s still Experience Bullying". British Journal of School Nursing. 8 (3): 147–148. doi:10.12968/bjsn.2013.8.3.147.
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  58. ^ "Top 30 charity chief executives on social media in 2016 announced". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  59. ^ "History". Ditch the Label. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  60. ^ "Gscene Gay/LGBT Magazine. News, Reviews & Listings for Gay/LGBT Brighton, UK, National Diversity Awards 2013 | Gscene Gay Magazine - What's on in Gay / LGBT Brighton". 13 May 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
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