Nickelodeon Responds To Claims Its Black Lives Matter Video Was Inappropriate For Kids
Nickelodeon has defended itself after parents claimed its Black Lives Matter video was inappropriate for children.
The channel is usually packed to the brim with light-hearted children’s shows, but on Monday, June 1, Nickelodeon paused its usual scheduling to play eight minutes and 46 seconds of breathing sounds to raise awareness of the death of George Floyd and the protests happening across the world right now.
The breathing was accompanied by a black screen, on which the words ‘I can’t breathe’ flashed slowly.
Though the video did not display anything violent or explicit, one mother slammed Nickelodeon for playing it, claiming the clip left her eight-year-old ‘scared to death’.
Ok, I’m P*SSED! Why is this sh*t just popping up on Nickelodeon while my kid is watching a show?!!!! My eight year old is scared to death!!! F*ck YOU MEDIA!!! F*ck YOU!!! U are DONE!
Another parent took to Facebook to address the channel, arguing Nickelodeon was ‘not the right platform’ on which to share the video, adding: ‘If anything all your [sic] doing is scaring children and that is just wrong’.
Nickelodeon has since responded to the comments, pointing out the situation surrounding Floyd’s death affects children, too.
A post from on its social media read:
Unfortunately, some kids live in fear every day. It’s our job to use our platform to make sure their voices are heard and their stories are told.
Before playing the video, Nickelodeon shared a ‘declaration of kids’ rights’, informing children of the societal rights they are entitled to.
The declaration 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.
Many people have praised Nickelodeon for sharing the hard-hitting video, which highlights how long former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Some stood up against critics, arguing that it is not the video parents are upset about, but rather the fact they will likely now have to face questions from their children about what it means.
Parents should not be afraid to address these issues with children; teaching young people about systemic racism and ensuring they know how to support the Black Lives Matter movement will allow those children to grow into well-informed, understanding adults who can help enforce and continue change.
Ultimately, parents who are not willing to discuss the issues are part of the problem. Being uninformed and staying silent will not change anything, whereas inciting conversation, as Nickelodeon has done, ensures the issues are addressed.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk