Editor's Note: The following has been adapted with the author's permission from its original publication on Carolina Culture Warrior. To be fully transparent, the author also owns shares in ABC (as previously disclosed).
Earlier this month, the world-famous toy store chain Toys “R” Us announced it was it was liquidating its assets and going out of business, closing all 735 US stores by June.
If that and the fact that over 33,000 jobs will be lost doesn’t convince you how kids today are living in a different world than the past few generations before them, look no further than this past weekend’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Past columns talking about this award show and its pitfalls were tame by comparison, although not by much.
For 2018, what really destroyed the night was when anti-Second Amendment activist students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School leading the anti-gun March for Our Lives were given a shoutout by host John Cena...only moments after the show started. And these not-so-subtle shoutouts continued to be made by performers and winners throughout the show, including Favorite TV Actress winner Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things.
Let’s make one thing clear: There was only one reason to make constant allusions and that was to put it in the forefront of the, say, under 15-year-old audience and get them thinking about the issue of gun control.
It’s one thing to nominate rap garbage that promotes drug use and sexual acts thanks to various artists plus actors and actresses who star in TV-MA fare like The Walking Dead (although props should be given for nominating conservative actress Candace Cameron Bure for her role in Fuller House).
It’s another thing to go the route of last year’s Video Music Awards on sister network MTV and give out political statements about gun control.
Why can’t we just let kids be kids? They have their whole lives to become adults, and there was no reason for the Kids’ Choice Awards to put out a political statement like this. You have to wonder what conservative families thought of the propaganda on display. Does Nickelodeon really want to go the route of most sports and entertainment programming and see ratings and trust plummet? It sure seems like it.
But, what should you expect from Viacom? This is the same company that used all of its operations to promote the teens’ activism earlier this month by having their channels go dark for 17 minutes.
If there are people who deserve to get slimed, it’s the producers of the Kids’ Choice Awards due to their decision to politicize a once-harmless awards ceremony, and especially executives at Nickelodeon and Viacom for airing it in the first place.
Shame on them.