Nickelodeon shared a poignant message on national television on Monday playing eight minutes and 46 seconds of breathing sounds as a PSA to George Floyd's killing in Minnesota, but not all viewers were on board with the network's stark message.
Some viewers took to Twitter to denounce the sobering commercial that showed a black screen as a man’s breathing is heard the background. The clip ended with the words 'I can’t breathe' on the screen.
One woman shared a clip of the ad on Twitter while her child is heard whimpering in the background.
'Ok, I’m PISSED! Why is this s*** just popping up on Nickelodeon while my kid is watching a show?!!!! My eight year old is scared to death!!! F*** YOU MEDIA!!! F*** YOU!!! U are DONE!" she wrote, adding the hashtags #QArmy #QAnon #WWG1WGA.
A mother who slammed Nickelodeon for playing a PSA about the police killing of George Floyd on their network Monday night, has been eviscerated by Twitter users. She bashed the PSA saying: 'Why is this s*** just popping up on my Nickelodeon...my eight year old is scared to death!!!'
The woman who posted the message appears to be an outspoken Trump supporter on her social media and supporter in the QAnon right-wing conspiracy theory that believes there’s a secret 'deep state' plot against Trump and his supporters
She later tried to defend herself saying she supported solidarity for George Floyd but didn't think it was appropriate to air the PSA on a children's channel
But her post was quickly slammed by other Twitter users who argued that all people, young and old, should be exposed to the reality of police brutality and Floyd's death.
Floyd – a 46-year-old black man - died after three Minneapolis Police officers held him face down on the ground and white cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes as the man cried: 'I can't breathe.'
'Let's be real Karen. You are not upset that #Nickelodeon scared your kid (far scarier s*** on tv) you are upset your kid is now asking questions you are not equipped or comfortable answering,' one Twitter user clapped back.
'It should scare your children. If they learn of injustice from a cable network instead of their parents then that's on the parents,' another added.
'I really don’t give a f*** about white children being afraid of Nickelodeon’s “I Can Breath” commercial. Black kids are being told they could get MURDERED for just being Black...Tell Tommy why he’s watching it in the first place,' one person said.
'Let's be real Karen. You are not upset that #Nickelodeon scared your kid (far scarier s*** on tv) you are upset your kid is now asking questions you are not equipped or comfortable answering,' one Twitter user clapped back
One Twitter user noted that African American child 'Tamir Rice was 12 years old when he was gunned down by the police while holding a toy gun'.
The woman who posted the message appears to be an outspoken Trump supporter on her social media and supporter in the QAnon right-wing conspiracy theory that believes there’s a secret 'deep state' plot against Trump and his supporters.
'This is not the right platform for this at all. The average age of the children that watch your channel are under the age of 12 and if anything all you're doing is scaring children and that is just wrong,' one social media user commented.
However Nickelodeon responded: 'Unfortunately, some kids live in fear everyday. It is our job to use our platform to make sure that their voices are heard and their stories are told.'
Nickelodeon showed their declaration of rights from 1990 earlier in the evening on Monday
Nickeodeon responded to criticism that the screening was too scary for people 12 and younger: 'Unfortunately, some kids live in fear everyday. It is our job to use our platform to make sure that their voices are heard and their stories are told'
One defender posted on Twitter: 'Some white parents LOVE shielding their kids from REAL s**t! This is why some white kids grow up sheltered and ignorant. Nickelodeon did what it had to do! Your kids are in the real world too. You need to teach them social justice! Why is Black Lives Matter a thing? TEACH THEM!'
African American man George Floyd (pictured) died after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly minutes last Monday
The PSA aired on Monday at 5pm EST.
'You have the right to be seen, heard, and respected as a citizen of the world,' the rolling credits said.
'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.'
It was a message originally created in June 1990.
Later in the evening, the network played a countdown with the words 'I can't breathe' slowly flashing, accompanied by breathing audio.
Viewers were also given information about Color of Change, telling them to text 'DEMANDS' to 55156 to 'call on public officials across the country to take real action'.
The company said it was encouraging employees to 'shift their focus from building our business to building community'.
Some adults praised Nickelodeon's action and criticized the response from parents who were offended by the pause in programming
ViacomCBS networks MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, CBS Sports and BET did the same on Monday.
The media company's website also went dark with only a message: 'Our Business Is On Pause Today.'
The president of Entertainment & Youth Group, Chris Mccarthy, told staff in an email: 'One week ago, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the breath of one of our fellow humans was taken from him. His name was George Floyd.
'Today at 5pm ET, the E&Y brands and platforms around the world will go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and the fight against police brutality and racial inequality.
'We know there is a lot of work ahead of us, and I am committed to action beyond these words with all of you. We must continue to work together, to look within, and to support one other and our fellow humans – all with compassion for each other.'