IN FOCUS

SOCIAL & RACIAL 
JUSTICE

Our commitment to serving the needs of our audiences intensified in 2020, as a cultural reckoning led us to confront systemic racism and bias in the U.S. and around the globe. We will continue to reexamine our role in making diversity, inclusion and equity a reality for everyone.

 

Learn more about our efforts and partnerships to push ourselves, our industry and our society forward.
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social and racial justice

OUR BRANDS
WENT DARK
FOR 8:46

On June 1, 2020, our brands went dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd and pay tribute to other victims of racial violence. The video was an emotive reminder of Floyd’s last moments, with the sound of natural breath punctuated by the words “I can’t breathe.”  

Our brands went dark for 8:46 Our brands went dark for 8:46
C05C91FB-8779-43CF-AAAE-E465FB783BB7

Holding Space
for Community
Standing up for Our Values: BET Justice Now Specials +

Empowering the Black community is core to BET’s mission. That’s why in the days following the death of George Floyd, BET used their platform to encourage conversations around racial injustice in collaboration with leading Black voices.

There are no easy solutions for these systemic issues of racism, injustice and trauma. BET is leveraging every platform and resource at our disposal to support and inform our community and help identify strategies and viable solutions in this time of crisis.

Scott Mills, President of BET

Showing Up for Kids: Kids, Race & Unity with Alicia Keys +

Nick News marked its return to primetime with Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special, hosted by Alicia Keys. The special amplified the voices of Black kids, highlighted youth activists fighting racial injustice, and featured a Q&A with the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.

What’s happening in the world is not just a problem for the Black community, it’s all of our problem, and we ALL have to care about it in order to change it! This is such an important, vulnerable, honest and beautiful conversation, and I know many families may be searching for the right way to enter it. Let’s really deep dive together.”

Alicia Keys

Preserving History with 60 Minutes +

2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and liberation of concentration camps across Europe. In April, 60 Minutes featured an interview between correspondent Lesley Stahl and Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster that was unlike any Stahl had done before: She was interviewing an artificially intelligent holographic recording of Elster created as part of a project to preserve our ability to converse with Holocaust survivors even after they die.

Fundraising with Flair: Chi with Love +

SHOWTIME teamed up with Chicago-based artists for a virtual benefit concert in support of the Equal Justice Initiative on behalf of its drama series The Chi.

The Chi has always been a show about celebrating Black life and Black love even in the midst of tragedy. Now is a time for us to uplift Black artists. This virtual concert not only celebrates black music, but it celebrates the beautiful black people of Chicago. This is from us, with love.”

Lena Waithe

Honoring Pride and the Black Lives Matter Movement +

VidCon’s Proud Together honored Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement through a night of music, education, entertainment and fundraising.

Continuing to Elevate Diverse Voices: We Need to Talk +

CBS Sports’ We Need to Talk, an all-female sports talk show, led a month-long discussion on social justice and the role of sports in advocating for inclusion.

CONTENT FOR CHANGE +

BET announced Content for Change, a groundbreaking social justice initiative anchored in the belief that media plays a pivotal role in shaping and driving individual and community values, perceptions and actions. In partnership with Stanford University, and with support from corporate, civil rights and social justice organizations, this effort will focus on creating and distributing content that helps drive the critical changes needed to eliminate systemic racism and inequality in America.

To support this unprecedented undertaking, BET and its partners will dedicate $25M to the Content for Change initiative.
CULTURE CODE +

MTV Entertainment Group launched “Culture Code,” a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy developed in collaboration with social justice organizations, to usher progressive change in the creative community. The immersive employee-led initiative aims to construct a communal set of values, understanding and baseline cultural norms to foster a more inclusive creative community.

It will take partnerships like this to
transform the media landscape and
create a more humane, less hostile world for Black people, in which they
are empowered to create their art
and thrive.”

Color of Change, one of the many social justice organizations to join the initiative

ANTI-HATE EFFORTS
AROUND THE GLOBE

world map
Preserving
History
NORTH AMERICA

2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and liberation of concentration camps across Europe. In April, 60 Minutes featured an interview between correspondent Lesley Stahl and Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster that was unlike any Stahl had done before: She was interviewing an artificially intelligent holographic recording of Elster created as part of a project to preserve our ability to converse with Holocaust survivors even after they die.

Writing Compelling
Stories
BRAZIL

ViacomCBS International Studios began working on a new initiative in Brazil called “Narrativas Negras” (Black Narratives), a writers’ room with goals to create compelling, diverse and inclusive stories as part of ViacomCBS’s “No Diversity, No Commission” campaign.

Celebrating Love
in All Forms

INDIA

MTV Beats, MTV India’s 24-hour Hindi music channel, released the country’s first-ever gender atypical album, Love Duet, which is inclusive of love between people other than a male and female.

Tackling Gender-
Based Violence
SOUTH AFRICA | NIGERIA

We drove industry-led initiatives that mobilized record labels, broadcasters, radio stations and media houses with a campaign across our platforms in the region to address gender-based and xenophobic violence. The “STOP THE VIOLENCE” campaign in South Africa encouraged action to address xenophobic attacks, gender-based femicide and violence against children. In Nigeria, ViacomCBS Networks Africa extended the campaign to denounce the atrocious human rights violations that escalated in the country over the past year.

Breaking Down
Complex Topics
GERMANY

What You Know About That?! (WYKAT) is a crisp digital video format that features socio-political, socio-critical and pop-cultural topics. The aim is to explain complex topics like racism, queer phobia, classism, ableism, cultural appropriation and much more in a tangible and easy way. WYKAT is developed by MTV Germany and host and influencer Wana Limar who is working with a diverse team of video creators, journalists and experts to ensure representation.

In Support of
Transgender Rights
UNITED KINGDOM

ViacomCBS Networks UK, along with some of the biggest names in the media industry, sent an open letter to the UK government supporting trans people’s right to live and work uninhibited. The government delayed reforms that would have threatened the safety of the trans community after many other large organizations expressed solidarity. We will continue to remind the UK government that the vast majority of the population supports the trans community and reforms that make it easier for everyone to live authentically.

Leveraging our
Platform to Work Towards
Reconciliation
AUSTRALIA | NEW ZEALAND

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand announced its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), cementing our commitment towards reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples, as well as embedding positive cultural change. The program is centered on building meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organizations, networks and educational bodies.

Preserving
History
NORTH AMERICA

2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and liberation of concentration camps across Europe. In April, 60 Minutes featured an interview between correspondent Lesley Stahl and Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster that was unlike any Stahl had done before: She was interviewing an artificially intelligent holographic recording of Elster created as part of a project to preserve our ability to converse with Holocaust survivors even after they die.

Writing Compelling
Stories
BRAZIL

ViacomCBS International Studios began working on a new initiative in Brazil called “Narrativas Negras” (Black Narratives), a writers’ room with goals to create compelling, diverse and inclusive stories as part of ViacomCBS’s “No Diversity, No Commission” campaign.

Celebrating Love
in All Forms

INDIA

MTV Beats, MTV India’s 24-hour Hindi music channel, released the country’s first-ever gender atypical album, Love Duet, which is inclusive of love between people other than a male and female.

Tackling Gender-
Based Violence
SOUTH AFRICA | NIGERIA

We drove industry-led initiatives that mobilized record labels, broadcasters, radio stations and media houses with a campaign across our platforms in the region to address gender-based and xenophobic violence. The “STOP THE VIOLENCE” campaign in South Africa encouraged action to address xenophobic attacks, gender-based femicide and violence against children. In Nigeria, ViacomCBS Networks Africa extended the campaign to denounce the atrocious human rights violations that escalated in the country over the past year.

Breaking Down
Complex Topics
GERMANY

What You Know About That?! (WYKAT) is a crisp digital video format that features socio-political, socio-critical and pop-cultural topics. The aim is to explain complex topics like racism, queer phobia, classism, ableism, cultural appropriation and much more in a tangible and easy way. WYKAT is developed by MTV Germany and host and influencer Wana Limar who is working with a diverse team of video creators, journalists and experts to ensure representation.

In Support of
Transgender Rights
UNITED KINGDOM

ViacomCBS Networks UK, along with some of the biggest names in the media industry, sent an open letter to the UK government supporting trans people’s right to live and work uninhibited. The government delayed reforms that would have threatened the safety of the trans community after many other large organizations expressed solidarity. We will continue to remind the UK government that the vast majority of the population supports the trans community and reforms that make it easier for everyone to live authentically.

Leveraging our
Platform to Work Towards
Reconciliation
AUSTRALIA | NEW ZEALAND

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand announced its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), cementing our commitment towards reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples, as well as embedding positive cultural change. The program is centered on building meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organizations, networks and educational bodies.

WANT TO READ
THE FULL
2020 SOCIAL
IMPACT REVIEW
?

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