Several major Viacom channels, including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, aired today to acknowledge the national strike of students in schools across the United States protesting violence with firearms. Channels left the air for 17 minutes from 10AM to 10:17 AM today.
BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network and TV Land left the air precisely 17 minutes earlier to honor the 17 students killed last month in a shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Thousands of students from all over the country left their classrooms today, exactly one month after the Valentine's Day shooting. Many marched out of the White House and into the Capitol, some joined pro-gun control legislators. The survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland gathered in solidarity and remembrance at nearby Pine Trails Park.
"This generation continues to be the driving force of change," said Marva Smalls, executive vice president of global inclusion for Viacom, in a press release. "With more than 17 young people dying of armed violence every day, unfortunately, no community is safe.
"We believe it is critical to support the inspiring efforts of our youth, who are literally fighting for their lives," Smalls added. "Viacom also has a responsibility to our public to do everything possible to elevate the many brave and courageous activists to help them extend the reach and impact of their voices in this important movement."
Viacom also allowed students to take MTV social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook during the strike and changed the MTV and Comedy Central logos to orange during the 10 days leading up to March For Our Lives scheduled in Washington, DC on October 24. March. The programs will continue to cover the theme: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will cover the growing moment of violence against guns in the US. US, While The Opposition with Jordan Klepper will interview Parkland high school students, former military officers and more.
BET will also offer grants to young activists who have ideas on how to deal with armed violence and mental health problems. Country Music Television is going to work more with the country music industry to advocate for gun control.