The Industry's Support of Social Justice
Following the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests around the U.S. (and world), our industry quickly sprang into action, showing solidarity with the Black community and demonstrating its commitment to eradicating systemic racism. Below are some examples of what cable, media and technology companies have done to support the cause.
is among the companies that have held town halls in recent days to discuss racial inequality.
Chairman & CEO Michael Powell spoke to AMCN employees virtually, telling them that people look to leaders to lead, but this is a moment when we should look to leaders to learn. Five of AMC Networks’ national nets (
AMC, IFC, WE tv, BBC America
), in partnership with the NAACP, went dark for eight minutes and 46 seconds on Thursday, June 4, at 3:45 pm, the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer restrained George Floyd with a knee on his neck. The company is also giving employees $1,000 to donate to charitable organizations that tackle issues of racial inequality.
honored George Floyd with
BET Remembers: George Floyd.
The network also aired commercial-free, live coverage of Floyd’s entire funeral services.
postponed its virtual Cisco Live event, which was slated to get underway Tuesday, June 2. “Today we find ourselves facing another pandemic. Not one that is new by any means, but one that we must confront. The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more before them are horrific, maddening and truly abhorrent,” Chairman & CEO Chuck Robbins said in a video message. Cisco is donating $5 million to charities dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination, which Robbins described as just a first step.
is developing a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. There will be $75 million in cash and $25 million in media that will be distributed over the next three years, in addition to the existing commitments the company currently makes to thousands of organizations supporting underrepresented communities through its Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and social impact programs.
Read the company's full statement here.
announced it has established a $1 million fund to help organizations that support social justice and civil and human rights.
Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment
made the following statement regarding recent civil rights demonstrations: “The Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) provides advice and recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intended to identify and remove barriers that prevent historically disadvantaged communities from accessing the full range of opportunities made possible by communications, media, and technology. Recurring racial violence and hostility against the Black community, compounded by the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, have lain bare the ages-old social, health, and economic inequities and systemic racism that continue throughout the country." View the full statement and the members of the committee
Note: WICT President & CEO, Maria E. Brennan, is a member of the Committee.
The Murder of George Floyd: A Nation Responds,
which featured a panel discussion of law enforcement, press and activists. The programming led into the premiere of
OWN Spotlight: Where Do We Go from Here,
hosted by Oprah Winfrey and simulcast across every Discovery net in the U.S.
President & CEO Shuanise Washington released a statement about George Floyd’s death, saying “This senseless tragedy reinforces the need for greater diversity and inclusion in our communities and workplaces. And it reaffirms NAMIC’s mission and further strengthens our resolve and determination to keep pressing forward.”
Read the full statement here.
held a town hall with CEO David Kenny, who blogged that the board is holding him and his team accountable for expanding representation at every level of the organization. Kenny also said the measurement company would redouble efforts to provide the press and the business community information on the economic power and the impact of the African American community in media, sports and culture.
is elevating organizations Color of Change and the NAACP, asking viewers to donate, saying “we cannot stand silent while our Black communities continue to suffer under the weight of violence, discrimination and injustice.”
all networks and platforms from the company’s entertainment and youth brands, and
CBS Sports, Nickelodeon
went dark on June 1 at 5:00 pm for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the length of time a police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck. President of Entertainment and Youth Brands Chris McCarthy wrote in an internal memo. “We must all do our part—discrimination against one of us is discrimination against all of us.”
launched the #ChangeStartsRightHere initiative, working to foster positive conversations in local communities about changes needed to help end racism. The ad management company is running a TV spot asking its viewers to join the conversation and contribute to it by inviting local business owners, minorities and law enforcement to create their own 15- or 30- second spots about how they’re working together in their communities. The groups can then upload the videos to Viamedia’s custom portal, and the company will then run the messages as local PSAs for free.
CNN headquarters was vandalized in Atlanta during recent protests, but newly-minted CEO Jason Kilar sent out an email to employees in solidarity with the Black community. “My commitment to each of you is that I am going to do everything I can to lead with empathy and action in this moment, as the Black community deserves nothing less. It is better stated that the Black community deserves so much more.”
Walt Disney Company
released a video showing its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In the video, several Disney workers share personal experiences with racial inequality, shedding light on situations they face in their lives. Watch the video
. The company also made a $5 million pledge to nonprofit social justice organizations.
issued the following statement, posted on its website and distributed through its social media channels: "Regarding the ongoing protests and demonstrations in the U.S. and abroad, as an organization whose mission is based on equality, WICT is committed to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life. We stand firm with our partners and the communities we serve to eradicate systemic racism like that we witnessed with George Floyd and many others. WICT stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition, we will address it during all of our programs for the foreseeable future. We will never stop using our platform to shine a spotlight on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. All of us wish for peace and wellness for all of our brothers and sisters in our extended community. Our hope is that together, we will rise above and emerge more united than ever before."
Please send updates on your company's efforts to
Sources include: Cablefax Daily, various corporate websites and social media accounts.