Monday night’s (June 1) effort was dedicated to the victims of police brutality.
ViacomCBS networks including BET, VH1, MTV and Comedy Central went dark for nearly nine minutes on Monday night (June 1) to make a very poignant statement. The channels cut to a black screen with the words “I Can’t Breathe” on it and a timer that counted down from 8:46.
That was the amount of time a white police officer used his knee to kneel on the neck of black Minnesota resident George Floyd, whose death in police custody has set off a week of demonstrations across the country and the world as part of a movement to fight police brutality against black and brown men and women.
According to CNBC, ViacomCBS’ entertainment and youth networks — MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Networks, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo and partner brands CBS Sports, BET and Nickelodeon — ran the spot at 5 p.m. ET. Chris McCarthy, president of the Entertainment & Youth Group, explained the decision to employees in an email.
“One week ago, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the breath of one of our fellow humans was taken from him. His name was George Floyd,” he wrote. “Today at 5pm ET, the E&Y brands and platforms around the world will go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and the fight against police brutality and racial inequality. 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.”