Some Parents Complained After Nickelodeon Went Dark To Support George Floyd
Some parents complained after Nickelodeon aired a nine-minute video to honor George Floyd’s life
On Monday, June 1, 2020, Nickelodeon went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds to commemorate George Floyd’s life, who died on May 25 after an officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The children’s network (and all other Viacom channels like MTV and Comedy Central) went dark at 6 p.m. ET last night so that the network could show their support for “justice, equality, and human rights.” While the majority of parents supported the channel’s show of solidarity, a number of (let’s be real, white) parents complained that the blackout clip was “scary” or that their kids shouldn’t be part of conversations about race and police brutality.
In the video that aired, a black screen appeared with words “I can’t breathe” while the sound of breathing is heard in the background.
An hour later, Nickelodeon aired a video that listed their “declaration of kid’s rights” which read as follows:
“You have the right to be seen, heard, and respected as a citizen of the world. 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.”
As we mentioned before, the outpouring of love for the network was swift, with many parents saying the nine-minute moment allowed them to talk about race and social justice with their kids, which is what the clip was supposed to do.
Unfortunately, a number of parents also chimed in on social media to complain about the ad with arguments running the gamut from “kids shouldn’t have this stuff shown to them” and Nickelodeon should be a place to “avoid things like this.”
What these angered parents don’t realize is that Black children cannot avoid talking with their parents about racism and police brutality. So when a non-Black parent says that “kids shouldn’t have this stuff shown to them,” who are these “kids” that they are referring to? White kids? Kids who don’t have to fear the police simply because of the color of their skin? When someone complains that the ad is creepy and they don’t want kids to be aware of police brutality, they are completely blind to their privilege. It is a privilege to “avoid” frank discussion about race. Black kids have always had to have these conversation and now the rest of us are realizing that it is our literal job to make sure that all kids have these conversations too.