Nickelodeon airs nothing but breathing noises to honour George Floyd

Children’s TV station Nickelodeon went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds on Monday night, the exact amount of time that George Floyd begged for breath while an officer held him down with a knee on his neck. 

Floyd’s death has sparked an eruption of protests across the United States and several cities in United Kingdom in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Several ViacomCBS TV networks, including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Nickelodeon, and more pledged their support for the cause by running almost nine minutes of breathing sounds with nothing but the words ‘I can’t breathe’ sprawled across a black screen. 

The video was not only meant as a tribute to Floyd, but the countless victims who lost their lives to racism. 

Nickelodeon also interrupted their broadcast to air a message which read: ‘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.’

When some parents felt the move was inappropriate, Nickelodeon hit back: ‘Unfortunately, some kids live in fear everyday.’

Over the weekend, HBO and Netflix shared posts across all their shows’ social media accounts confirming their solidarity to the Black Lives Matter protests.

An official post mortem has since ruled Floyd died by homicide after suffering cardiac arrest while restrained by Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin. 

Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder as well as manslaughter and will appear in court next week.

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