March 14 (UPI) — Viacom showed its support for the national school walkout Wednesday by having its networks temporarily go dark.
The media conglomerate suspended programming on MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Comedy Central, TV Land, CMT and other channels in solidarity with students protesting gun violence.
The Viacom blackout occurred at 10 a.m. ET for 17 minutes, and will repeat at 10 a.m. in every time zone. The company said in a blog post that the 17 minutes were tribute to the 17 people killed in the Parkland school shootingFeb. 14.
“Viacom and its brands have a long history of supporting young people’s movements around the world, and today the company is extending that tradition by leveraging its substantial multi-platform footprint to support these extraordinary individuals,” the post reads.
Thousands of students walked out of school in a nationwide demonstration Wednesday, with many regrouping at central locations. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined students at a protest in Lower Manhattan.
“America’s students can clearly see what the GOP cannot: Weak gun laws are at the heart of America’s gun violence problem,” Cuomo tweeted. “Proud to join the students at Leadership and Public Service High School.”
The national school walkout will be followed by the March for Our Lives demonstration March 24 in Washington, D.C. Viacom board member Shari Redstone said she will donate $500,000 to the movement.