All Viacom networks went off the air this morning for 17 minutes in solidarity with the national walkouts demanding gun control legislation, Vox reports. Those channels include MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and even CMT, their country music station. A tweet send from the company's Twitter just before 10AM EST announced the silence, reading "Viacom is standing with all students as they participate in the #NationalSchoolWalkout against Gun Violence. From 10:00-10:17am, our networks will be going dark in solidarity to support the reach and impact of their activism."
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. Interestingly, CMT's announcement of their blackout, posted to Twitter, has received very little attention on the social network. As Vox points out, the network has partnered with the NRA before, and country music feels stereotypically beholden anti-gun control. But some artists, like Tim McGraw, are becoming more vocal about their stance on the issue.
Viacom has also set up a website through MTV where viewers can get more involved with the movement, and RSVP the March For Our Lives. According to Vox, the vice chair of Viacom’s board, Shari Redstone, is also personally donating $500,000 to the March For Our Lives movement.
Thumbnail courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images.