Viacom Networks Are Going Dark to Support National School Walkout

Angelo Anderson
March 14, 2018

Viacom's efforts also include a $500,000 donation from Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of Viacom's Board, to the March For Our Lives movement.

MTV used the time to post tributes to young people leading marches out of their school across the nation, many of whom lost friends or family members to gun violence; Nickelodeon's was met with widespread praise.

"This generation continues to be the driving force for change", said Marva Smalls, Viacom's executive vice president of global inclusion, in a press release.

As MSNBC went with live coverage all morning today of the nationwide school walk-outs against gun violence, Viacom channels went dark for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. ET in solidarity with the students. So, too, will Viacom's other networks, including Comedy Central and BET, which will switch to coverage of the National Student Walkout over gun violence. Programs will continue to cover the issue: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will cover the growing anti-gun violence moment in the U.S., while The Opposition with Jordan Klepper will interview Parkland high school students, former military officials, and more.

Perhaps most surprising is the promise from CMT (Country Music Television), which Viacom says will "work with the country music industry on its efforts to support gun safety".

The March 14 school walkout looks to build on the earlier momentum of student actions. Paramount Network will capture powerful first-person accounts for its pro-social initiative. BET is offering grants to "youth activists with innovative ideas about addressing gun violence and mental health issues". Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, which airs that night, will acknowledge the march for its audience of millions. Source - Everytown analysis: CDC Fatal Injury Reports (WISQARS), data for 2012-2016.

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