MTV, Nickelodeon and Other Networks Go Dark for George Floyd

Lawrence Kim
June 3, 2020

Floyd, 46, was a black man who died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd lay face down and was handcuffed. This video played on all of their channels for 8 minutes and 47 seconds. Others are applauding Nickelodeon for taking such a loud stance against racial inequality during this time of need.

On Monday, ViacomCBS announced plans to switch off its entertainment and youth brands, including MTV and Comedy Central, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds (marking the time in which Floyd was killed) at 5PM in the U.S. Similar plans have been drawn up in the UK, where the likes of MTV UK will cease broadcasting at 7PM on Wednesday.

Channel 4's 4Music and ViacomCBS channels will be among the TV and radio networks in the United Kingdom that will go dark in tribute to George Floyd.

Other networks like MTV, BET, Logo, VH1, CMT, CBS, and more aired a different ad.

"This is not the right platform for this at all", another Facebook user reportedly said.

Nickelodeon responded to the latter criticism by commenting that "unfortunately, some kids live in fear every day", before adding that the network aims to amplify the voices and stories of those kids.

"Many parents, however, responded positively to the gesture, with one tweeting that "@Nickelodeon is just giving me more reasons to love them.

"Another parent shared a video of Nickelodeon's message, commenting, "#Nickelodeon thanks.

The network's action follows an Instagram post from Sunday expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Black lives matter. Black culture matters".

"We are seeing the tragic impact of discrimination affect our community in a myriad of ways - including the disproportionate number of people of color who have been impacted by COVID-19 - another life or death fight for our breath", Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands at ViacomCBS domestic networks, said in an internal note to staff that was seen by Reuters.

A lengthy blog post by the streaming service also promised to encourage its employees to educate themselves on "what it means to be an effective ally to the Black community", with access to trained mental health professionals on also promised to match financial donations made by employees to organisations fighting against racism and injustice.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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