Numerous TV networks owned by ViacomCBS just went dark for more than eight minutes to pay tribute to George Floyd one week after his death.
MTV and Comedy Central were among the ViacomCBS stations that on Monday starting at 5:00 p.m. ET aired the words "I can't breathe" for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, alongside the sound of breathing, reports CNBC. A Minneapolis police officer who has since been fired and charged with murder last week kneeled on Floyd's neck for that length of time while Floyd said that he couldn't breathe, and his death has sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
This is what viewers of many ViacomCBS cable networks will see for the next eight minutes. Sound is deep, labored breaths as 'I Can't Breathe' flashes in and out in rhythm. pic.twitter.com/rQVDp0ATsm
A message at the bottom of the screen during the ViacomCBS blackout urged viewers to text "DEMANDS" to 55156, promoting the civil rights organization Color of Change.
ViacomCBS President of Entertainment and Youth Brands Chris McCarthy previously announced that "we will go dark across our brands and platforms to mark the time in which George Floyd was brutally killed as a tribute to Mr. Floyd and other victims of racism" in a employee memo, in which he also pledged to "use our platforms to shine a light on the realities of racial injustice and call for equality." Brendan Morrow