Viacom networks, including MTV, went dark for 17 minutes Wednesday morning in a show of support for students attending the national walkout against guns or gun violence, or for gun control (the purpose of the walkout seems largely undefined).
Regardless — and regardless of whether anyone watches MTV anymore — the network began its solidarity protest at 10:00 a.m. EST, and in the 17 minutes that followed aired "inspirational" footage of students agitating for gun control, reports Billboard Magazine.
"The global youth brand will also honor the initiative across its social media platforms, with students at different school walkouts taking over MTV’s Facebook stories, Instagram stories, Snapchat and their Look Different (@LookDifferent) Twitter account," according to Billboard. Viacom will also make the logos on all of its networks orange in support of Everytown for Gun Safety, until the national March For Our Lives on March 24.
Like Wednesday's marches, the Viacom effort doesn't seem to have taken into account a "return on investment" aspect; it's not immediately clear what changing a logo and going dark for 17 minutes in the midst of a rerun of "Winter Break" will do for the larger gun debate. For Nickelodeon viewers — who also got 17 minutes of "inspirational" content — it probably meant 17 minutes of boredom (or 17 minutes of pestering their parents).