Viacom is standing behind the nationwide student protests.
While tens of thousands of students across America walked out of classes Wednesday morning for 17 minutes— one minute for each victim in last month’s Florida shooting— stations under Viacom networks went dark and suspended programming in support.
On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. local time, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central cut programming and switched to news coverage of the National Student Walkout instead of their regularly scheduled broadcasts. During the walkout, MTV gave students control over its social media accounts.
Over 2,800 schools and student groups participated in the protest organized by Empower, the youth branch of the Women’s March. “Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence,” the organization states on its website.
— MTV (@MTV) March 14, 2018
We are proud to amplify the extraordinary individuals who are working to make America’s schools safer & reduce gun violence. Across our brands, we will leverage our substantial multi-platform footprint to support the reach and impact of their activism. https://t.co/2UtaPFoeMM
— ViacomCBS (@ViacomCBS) March 13, 2018
— Taryn Carrie Lane (@taryncarrielane) March 14, 2018
Viacom will also be using its various tv channels to promote the March For Our Lives rally at the nation’s capital on March 24. MTV and Comedy Central’s logos will turn orange for 10 days leading up to the march. BET vows to offer grants to “youth activists with innovative ideas about addressing gun violence and mental health issues.” Comedy Central’s satirical news shows like “The Daily Show” and “The Opposition,” will continue covering “the growing anti-gun violence movement in the country.” Nickelodeon will also recognize the march during the Kids’ Choice Awards, which airs the night of the march, while Viacom says CMT (Country Music Television) will “work with the country music industry on its efforts to support gun safety.”
Ivie is a Nigerian-American, native New Yorker, and journalist covering culture. Usually on-air, on deadline, and on point. @ivieani