ViacomCBS President of Entertainment and Youth Brands Chris McCarthy wrote in an internal memo that all entertainment and youth brands and platforms would be going dark on Monday for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. That's the precise amount of time former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis, leading to his death and sparking protests and discord around the country.
"Each of us is welcomed into this world with our first breath," McCarthy wrote. "It unites us across the planet as human beings. 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."
A new spot created internally will air across ViacomCBS' channels including MTV, CBS Sports, BET and Nickelodeon, at 5 pm Eastern. The spot reads “I CAN’T BREATHE” on a black background as audio plays the sound of breathing. The spot includes a call-to-action to support civil rights advocacy nonprofit Color of Change.
“While I am not a person of color and can never fully understand this experience, I am offended by the systemic racism and want to stand together with our communities of color in the hurt and pain,” continued McCarthy in the letter. “We must all do our part—discrimination against one of us is discrimination against all of us.”