NBCUniversal Cable is reviving the “Erase the Hate” social action campaign that was a staple of USA Network’s air in the 1990s.
The new-model Erase the Hate is a much-expanded effort to be conducted in partnership with Civic Nation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tackles social ills through organization and civic engagement. The initiative to revive Erase the Hate was spearheaded by NBCUniversal Cable chairman Bonnie Hammer, who launched the original campaign during her tenure as head of USA.
“When we launched Erase The Hate over 20 years ago, it was truly inspiring to see so many people rally around the call for inclusion over prejudice. We’ve dedicated a lot of thought for a very long time re-imagining this campaign for today’s digitally-connected world because sadly, this work feels more urgent now than ever before,” said Hammer. “I’ve always believed people aren’t born knowing how to hate…they are taught to hate. It’s time to channel our energy into doing what we can to break this destructive cycle.”
Erase the Hate and Civic Nation will administer an “accelerator” program that will offer grants, coaching and mentoring support for activists working on a range of causes. A discretionary fund has been assembled to offer micro-grants to organizations that take action in moments of crisis.
Erase the Hate-related promos and programming will air on the linear networks and digital extensions of all channels in the entertainment cable group that Hammer oversees for NBCUniversal, including USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen and E! The Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios production entities will also contribute to the campaign that marks a seven-figure commitment of air time and marketing support from NBC.
The larger goal of Erase the Hate is to combat prejudice, hate crimes, and the spread of hate speech via digital and social media. NBCU has assembled an advisory counsel to help guide the effort and help select grant recipients. The members include GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Voto Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar, UnidosUS’ Janet Murguia, and Teach for America’s Brittany Packnett.
Civic Nation in the past has focused on encouraging voter participation in elections, campaigns to help underprivileged youth attend college, female leadership development, and efforts to end sexual assault on college campuses.
The original Erase the Hate initiative earned USA Network the Governors Award from the Television Academy in 1996.