Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Does Nickelodeon Support Domestic Violence?

That title isn't meant to be funny. It's a question I'd really like to have answered. My gut says that Nickelodeon would say of course they don't condone violence against women (or anyone), but that doesn't really mesh with their decision to keep Chris Brown in contention to receive a Kids' Choice Award.

"Like all our KCA nominees, Chris Brown was nominated by kids several months ago based on his work as a performer, and the kids who vote will ultimately decide who wins in the category," Nickelodeon said in a statement sent to ABCNews.com.

19-year old Chris Brown, you'll recall is being charged with at least 1 felony for beating his 21-year old girlfriend Rihanna last month, although he's trying to plea to a misdameanor and not serve jail time.

I point out their ages because they are both role models to kids. Kids love them. Teenagers love their music. And of course, they are both still young adults themselves.

I'm all for being innocent until proven guilty, but this isn't about the court system. This is about what message is being sent to today's teenagers and pre-teens. Wrigley gum and the Milk campaign have decided they don't want to be associated with an alleged woman beater. Yet Nickelodeon, through their actions, is saying that his behavior is okay and they're standing by him. By doing that, they're sending the message to kids that it's okay to beat a woman to a bloody pulp.

It's bad enough that many of today's teens already think that Rihanna must be to blame for the beating she received from her boyfriend and that dating violence is normal. And this is at a time when 1 in 10 teens suffer violence in their dating relationships.

Don't we as adults owe it to this generation of teens and pre-teens to condemn domestic violence, let them know that violence is never okay, they deserve better, they must report it when it happens, and that they should not go back to the relationship?

Nickelodeon could use their Kids' Choice Awards as an opportunity to run anti-violence PSAs and educate kids about abuse. But it all starts with removing Chris Brown from contention for an award. It's too bad the powers that be at Nick are afraid to be adults.

Update 9:53pm: Campbell Brown of CNN has just weighed in on this issue and I'd like to think that she formed her opinion after reading Little Merry Sunshine, but I'm sure that's not true. But she does share my opinion. Watch for yourself.


  1. In my un-caffienated stupor this morning, I thought I heard that Nickelodeon had taken him off the ballot. I suppose I could look it up but I'd need another hit of caffeine to muster up the energy.

  2. The Chicago Tribune (geez do I sound like I'm totally in their pocket now???) reports today he's still on the ballot. http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/chi-0311-ft-chris-brownmar11,0,4889035.story

  3. Thanks, ma'am. You'd think that since I am in full avoid cleaning mode, I'd have taken the time to check that myself.


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