Nickelodeon Went Off-Air for Nearly 9 Minutes to Support Equality

Nickelodeon

While many parents may be wondering how to start a conversation with their children about racism and social injustice, Nickelodeon decided to start the conversation for them.

If you were watching Nickelodeon on Monday June, 1, 2020, you may have noticed an interruption in the normal programming. Actually, there were two separate interruptions. 

One was at 6pm E.T. A message on the screen read, “Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, equality and human rights.” Below this message, Nickelodeon aired a “Declaration of Kids’ Rights.” They also shared the list of rights on social media.

At another point in the day, for 8 minutes and 45 seconds, all Viacom channels, including Nickelodeon and MTV, broadcast a black screen with white words that read, “I can’t breath.” You may recognize those as the final words of George Floyd. The words were in all caps, and the only sound was the sound of someone breathing.

Some parents are praising Nickelodeon for these powerful interruptions to their broadcast. One parent wrote, “This had me standing up. Especially the ‘I can’t breathe’ ad. Thank you for doing this. This IS the right platform. This is a scary time and riots are everywhere; we need to discuss these things with our children and they need to know about equality and their rights❤️ thank you Nickelodeon this was really amazing to see and I am so happy to have witnessed with my kids.”

Another mom shared, “When this happened yesterday it gave me an opportunity to try and talk to my 6 yr old about what is happening right now, I’m not sure if he fully understood but a conversation was started and that’s what’s important right now. This was a great thing you did Nickelodeon ❤️.”

There definitely seem to be many more positive comments than negative ones, but it seems like a few viewers were offended by Nickelodeon’s stand. One person wrote, “You just lost a viewer!” Another comment reads, “Done with this channel!”

A few viewers, while supporting Nickelodeon’s stand, did not think it was enough. One comment reads, “This is so important- but I also want Nick to provide more shows centering black kids or other kids of color. Waiting for that as well.” Another person wrote, “Can we get Nick News back for this? It helped me a lot with understanding the news when I was a kid.”

Do your kids watch Nickelodeon? Did they see either of these interruptions to the usual programming?