Viacom networks MTV and Nickelodeon went off air for 17 minutes Wednesday to support students and others participating in National Walkout Day.
From 10 a.m. to 10:17 p.m., those networks -- as well as Viacom-owned BET and Comedy Central, went off the air. The 17 minutes honor the 17 victims killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting one month ago on Feb. 14, when a 19-year-old former student opened fire.
Viacom made the announcement in a release Tuesday.
“At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, all Viacom networks and platforms will suspend regularly scheduled programming for 17 minutes,” the company said in a statement. “This pause will coincide with the National School Walkout, a tribute to the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting, and to all young victims of gun violence. Students across the country will take over MTV’s social media accounts during the walkout.”
ENOUGH National School Walkout was organized by students working with the Women’s March Youth Empower and occurred for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across all time zones. It aimed to call for action against gun violence.
Networks owned by Viacom include MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, formerly named Spike. All participated in the programming suspension.
“In support of kids leading the way today, Nickelodeon will be off the air until 17 minutes past the hour,” a message on the network read, according to The Los Angeles Times.
On Twitter, MTV aired a live Periscope broadcast profiling some teens and young adults who were moved to act against gun violence.
“Right now, students everywhere are walking out of school to take a stand against gun violence,” MTV said on Twitter. “We stand with them.”
“Viacom stands with all students as they participate in the national school walkout against gun violence,” a message on BET’s Twitter page read.
Viacom also said Shari Redstone, vice chair of Viacom’s board, would donate $500,000 to the March for Our Lives movement.
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