Viacom Channels Suspend Programming in Solidarity With Student Walkouts

Television channels owned by Viacom—including MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central—took a stance in support of students walking out of class Wednesday morning in protest of gun violence. The channels suspended regular programming for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. ET to “show solidarity with the school walkout,” and MTV’s social media was taken over by students participating in the nationwide walkout. Viacom also plans on providing digital and on-air coverage during the March for our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on March 24. MTV and Comedy Central plan to change their logo color to orange, the color of “gun-violence awareness,” in the 10 days leading up to the rally. Viacom Vice Chairwoman Shari Redstone will also donate $500,000 to the march. Besides programming changes, Viacom is also working on long-term projects relating to the issue, with BET and CMT running grant programs and initiatives for gun-violence awareness.