Nickelodeon, the cable TV channel aimed at children, ran a segment lecturing kids about "environmental racism." The topic that sounds more appropriate for adults than a network that is home to "SpongeBob SquarePants" seemed out of place for the cartoon-heavy channel for many. Online commentators and parents condemned the segment as "propaganda" designed to "indoctrinate our kids."
For Earth Day, Nickelodeon aired a one-hour special titled: "Nick News: Kids and the Impact of Climate Change," hosted by CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas and has an appearance by President Joe Biden's special envoy on climate,John Kerry. Nickelodeon's official Twitter account, which has nearly 4 million followers, posted a clip from the news special with the caption: "learn the meaning of environmental racism."
"What do these cities have in common?" Yuccas asked. "They're all examples of environmental racism, a form of systemic racism where minority and low-income communities are surrounded by health hazards because they live near sewage, mines, landfills, power stations, [and] major roads."
The clip, which features no shortage of appearances by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, was lambasted online.
- "I remember when Nickelodeon didn't indoctrinate our kids."
- "Let's talk about environmental racism affecting the South Bronx, shall we? Did you know Democrats in New York are the ones who've closed Indian Point, which has supplied zero-carbon, zero-pollution energy to NYC for 60 years? To be replaced by fossil fuels. Democrats did this."
- "Nickelodeon is promoting environmental racism to your children."
- "I'm old enough to remember when Nickelodeon taught children valuable life lessons through nuanced messages in shows like Hey Arnold and Avatar: The Last Airbender instead of preachy propaganda."
- "Honestly, what's the market for this? it's a children's cartoon show. nothing is sacred."
- "These people are such a cancer. It has nothing to do with racism. Most unappealing infrastructure is surrounded by cheaper housing which attracts lower income people. And in some cases those people are minorities. But FYI 14M White Americans live in poverty VS 8M Blacks."
- "Remember the good ole' days when the network just aired salute your shorts, hey dude, rugrats, the adventures of Pete and Pete, Rockos modern life ... AND didn't peddle this left-wing drivel. Sad - truly sad."
Nickelodeon turned off the replies on the Twitter post and did not allow anyone to comment on the video posted on its YouTube page that has over 9 million subscribers.
You're cowards, @Nickelodeon https://t.co/B7sA03nGnQ https://t.co/jxeCpvwQg9— Ryan Saavedra (@Ryan Saavedra) 1619269423.0
The cable network that targets children added a definition of "environmental racism" on their official Instagram account that has over 6 million followers.
In June, Nickelodeon paid homage to George Floyd and paused all programming for eight minutes and 46 seconds to show support for "justice, equality, and human rights." The tribute received backlash by some for possibly "scaring children."
we are all part of the change #blacklivesmatter ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 https://t.co/Y3Fzvob54X— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) 1591045210.0