Nickelodeon’s George Floyd tribute as channel off-air for 8 minutes with words ‘I can’t breathe’ and breathing sounds – The Sun

KIDS TV network Nickelodeon went off-air on Monday to play 8 minutes and 46 seconds of breathing sounds as a tribute to George Floyd.

Last Monday, the 46-year-old George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on him for nearly nine minutes as he cried: "I can't breathe".

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On Monday, Nickelodeon announced it would pause programming in support of "justice, equality, and human rights" after the killing of George Floyd.

In a statement released by the network, they said: "You have the right to be seen, heard and respected as a citizen of the world", read the credits in a tribute on Monday evening.

"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."

'TAKE REAL ACTION'

Later in the evening, the network went off-air and instead broadcasted a countdown with the words "I can't breathe" accompanied by breathing audio.

Information was also given about "Color of Change", telling viewers to text "DEMANDS" to 55156 to "call on public officials across the country to take real action."

The network said it was encouraging employees to "shift their focus from building our business to building community".

Some adults took to social media to say that Nickelodeon was not the right platform to address racial inequality.

In a post to Twitter, they said: "This is not the right platform for this at all.

"The average age of the children that watch your channel are under the age of 12 and if anything all you're doing is scaring children and that is just wrong."

But the kids' channel disagreed and responded: "Unfortunately, some kids live in fear every day.

"It is our job to use our platform to make sure that their voices are heard and their stories are told."

Other networks owned by ViacomCBS also participated in the blackout on Monday.

This included MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and BET

The company's website also went dark with only a message: "Our Business Is On Pause Today."

The president of Entertainment & Youth Group, Chris McCarthy, told staff in an email: "One week ago, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the breath of one of our fellow humans was taken from him.

"His name was George Floyd.

"Today at 5 pm ET, the E&Y brands and platforms around the world will go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against police brutality and racial inequality.

"We know there is a lot of work ahead of us, and I am committed to action beyond these words with all of you.

"We must continue to work together, to look within, and to support one other and our fellow humans – all with compassion for each other."

A blackout initiative, led by the music industry, pledged not to spend or sell anything on Tuesday in protest of racial inequality.

Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and Britney Spears joined the blackout on social media by posting a black tile to their platforms.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also took to social media to call for an end to the "disease" of racism.

Taking to Instagram, Johnson, 48, wrote: "Past few days I’ve been stunned trying make sense of George Floyd’s death.

"The video. The plea for breath. The callous response. The racism. The killing. This is our ongoing disease.

"I’ve had cops in my family. Good men.

"And there’s a cop code, granting you the authority to use force if your life is in danger.

"But when a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, 'please I can’t breathe' when your knee is on his neck.. not his back, but his neck – cutting off his air.

"Cop code must become moral code."



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