As thousands of students leave their classrooms and walk out of school to protest gun violence Wednesday, the media company Viacom announced it would suspend its programming on all its channels and networks for 17 minutes at 10 am across local time zones.
“In the weeks since a gunman claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, courageous young people have marched and raised their voices to demand action on gun violence in the United States,” the company wrote in a press release.
The move was praised online from supporters of the students.
“This generation continues to be the driving force for change,” said Viacom Executive Vice President Marva Smalls in a release.
“With more than 17 young people dying from gun violence every single day, unfortunately no community is safe. We believe it’s critical to support the inspiring efforts of our youth, who are literally fighting for their lives. Viacom also has a responsibility to our audiences to do everything we can to elevate the many brave and bold activists to help them extend the reach and impact of their voices in this important movement.”
The company says it also plans to donate $500,000 to the upcoming Mach for Our Lives on March 24, and said MTV and Comedy Central would change the colors of their logos to orange in support of gun violence awareness for ten days leading up to the demonstration.