Nickelodeon Airs "I Can't Breathe" Commercial in "Support of Justice"

ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS

In order to tribute the life of Floyd and all the countless others that have lost their lives to police violence and racism, children's television network Nickelodeon went dark for the same amount of time last night.

ViacomCBS's U.S. cablenets Comedy Central, MTV, Smithsonian Channel and Nickelodeon paused their programming last night in tribute to George Floyd, the black man killed by a Minnesota police officer last week.

An official post mortem has since ruled that Floyd died by homicide after suffering cardiac arrest while restrained by Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter on May 29, four days after Floyd's death.

During the blackout, the network played a countdown with the words "I can't breathe" slowly flashing, accompanied by breathing audio.

The statement affirmed kids' right to live in a peaceful world free from prejudice and harm, among other things. You have the right to an education that prepares you to run the world. You have the right to be treated with equality, regardless of the colour of your skin.

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The backlash was swift, and while she apologised during her next appearance, she was dropped from the show shortly after. Jimmy then clarified his stance of "not" being a racist and said, "I respect this guy more than I respect most humans".

They also pointed their followers to Color of Change, an organization that designs "campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, [and] champion solutions that move us all forward".

Music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube Music also took part, by way of special playlists, moments of silence and social media blackouts.

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. The post continued: Today and every day we stand together with our Black colleagues, partners, collaborators, and the entire Black community.

Floyd's death has prompted mass protests in cities around the United States decrying the treatment of black Americans, polarizing the country politically and racially. "As our support continues to evolve, we hope that these initial steps and actions will help push these conversations forward, promote deeper allyship, and usher in positive and lasting changes".

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