MTV created and aired an 8 minutes and 46 second spot, the length of time it took for George Floyd to be killed by Minneapolis police, in support of Black Live Matter and Color of Change.
The spot features a black screen with white letters reading “I can’t breathe” and the sound of breathing. It also features a clock counting down from 8:46. At the end it calls on viewers to join Color of Change and to call on public officials to take action against police brutality and racial inequality.
In addition to MTV, the spot ran at 5 p.m. ET on ViacomCBS’s other Entertainment and Youth Group cable networks--Comedy Central, Paramount Networks, Pop, VH1, TV Land, CMT and Logo--as well as on CBS Sports Network, BET and Nickelodeon.
“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,” said Chris McCarthy, president of the Entertainment & Youth Group at ViacomCBS in a memo to staff Monday.
“We have partnered with Color of Change to include a call to action – an important step to help all of us understand that we have a responsibility to get involved and be part of the solution. Please be on the lookout for a note later today on how all of us can get involved in Black Out Tuesday tomorrow,” he said. “We know there is a lot of work ahead of us, and I am committed to action beyond these words with all of you. We must continue to work together, to look within, and to support one other and our fellow humans – all with compassion for each other.”
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.