On Monday, June 1, at 6 P.M. EST, Nickelodeon — along with Comedy Central, BET and VH1 — went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds in a moment of solidarity for George Floyd, a 46-year-old, unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis, MN, on May 25, after a police officer knelt on his neck for the same amount of time. The white officer — Derek Chauvin — did not move even as George repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” as heard in a video captured by bystanders. The officer has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, equality, and human rights,” the network wrote in an Instagram post.
During its moment of silence, Nickelodeon flashed its “Declaration of Kids’ Rights” across the television screen.
“You have the right to be seen, heard, and respected as a citizen of the world,” the text read. “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 to your opinions and feelings, even if others don’t agree with them,” it read.
Many parents took to social media to thank and applaud Nickelodeon for its decision to go off the air. Others claimed that it was “inappropriate” for young viewers.
The network did not respond to critics, but did take to Instagram on Tuesday, June 2, to support #BlackoutTuesday.
“For #BlackoutTuesday, Nickelodeon social media will be on pause as we reflect on recent events. Our focus will be on building community, taking action, and sparking real change in the fight against racial injustice,” they captioned their post.
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