×

MTV Entertainment Group is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a public-service spot across all its brands. In a memo to staff Wednesday, group president Chris McCarthy wrote, “Today we stand with our Jewish colleagues, talent and audiences around the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day which the United National General Assembly designated to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 and honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. As we were reminded on January 6th with the storming of the Capitol, we’ve seen an alarming rise of antisemitism and white supremacy over the past four years.”

The spot features a variation on the form of Martin Niemöller’s widely circulated post-World War II confessional “First They Came …” in which the speaker laments not opposing oppression of and violence against others before becoming the target of similar oppression and violence.

MTV Entertainment Group — which includes MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and multiple other ViacomCBS brands — has, under McCarthy, regularly leveraged its platforms to raise awareness for social-justice issues. In June, the company’s cable channels went dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to mark the killing of George Floyd by police officers and express support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2018, those channels suspended programming for 17 minutes as high school students across the country participated in a national walkout to protest gun violence.

Read the full memo from McCarthy below:

Hey everyone,

Today we stand with our Jewish colleagues, talent and audiences around the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day which the United National General Assembly designated to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 and honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

As we were reminded on January 6th with the storming of the Capitol, we’ve seen an alarming rise of antisemitism and white supremacy over the past four years.

In honor of today, we will be running a spot on all of our brands and platforms to signify the importance of this day.  The spot is inspired by Martin Niemöller’s “First they came…” and updated for today’s times. Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor who ultimately spoke out against the Nazis and as a result, was sent to Sachsenhausen and Dachau, two Nazi concentration camps.

It reminds us of a very powerful message that hate against any of us is hate against all of us. 

As you’ve heard from some of our partners in previous Chris Lives, you can learn more and find ways to get involved below:

And to help us fully understand this context, we’ve invited Rabbi Sharon Brous – who just took part in President Biden and Vice President Harris’s National Inaugural Prayer Service – to join tomorrow’s Chris Live.  

Look forward to seeing you then. 

Thank you,

Chris