Yesterday, children's television channel Nickelodeon went offline to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and mourn the death of George Floyd. The powerful statement, which was mirrored on other channels owned by parent company Viacom, is earning praise from many online.
At 6 p.m. EST, Nickelodeon went offline for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. It began with the channel running an updated version of their "Declaration of Kids' Rights", which they first published 30 years ago.
"Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, quality, and human rights," the statement explained.
Nickelodeon then displayed their "Declaration of Kids' Rights" on the screen point-by-point.
"You have the right to be seen, heard, and respected as a citizen of the world."
"You have the right to a world that is peaceful."
"You have the right to be treated with equality, regardless of the color of your skin."
"You have the right to be protected from harm, injustice, and hatred."
"You have the right to an education that prepares you to run the world."
"You have the right yo your opinions and feelings, even if others don't agree with them."
After that statement, the channel aired a video that consisted of the words "I can't breathe" on screen, accompanied by the sound of breathing. The video ran for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which is the amount of time that Officer Derek Chauvin's knee was on George Floyd's neck.
Nickelodeon's powerful statement attracted plenty of praise online.
One user wrote: "Nickelodeon. Growing up, they were pivotal in mine, and a whole generations development as children and adolescents. In 2020, they have proven that they aren't afraid to side publicly what is right. This video played on all of their channels for 8 minutes and 47 seconds. Wow."
The channel was quick to respond to criticism from some parents that children are too young for the statement.
"Unfortunately, some kids live in fear every day," the company said in a reply on Facebook. "It's our job to use our platform to make sure their voices and heard and their stories are told."
"White parents, if your children were scared/confused by the Nickelodeon broadcast, this is a perfect moment to talk about why racism IS scary," another user remarked. "Lean INTO that discomfort. Talk to your child about why the fear that they feel is a fear that Black children can't flip the channel on."
"Nickelodeon stopping broadcast to show nine minutes of the words 'I can't breathe' so the sound effect of labored breathing," another added. "People are complaining that it was unnerving, scary, uncomfortable. That's the damn point."
For the most part, though, Nickelodeon's statement earned praised.
What do you make of Nickelodeon's statement?
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.