International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia 2017

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
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At Viacom, we foster an environment of inclusiveness, which holds leadership accountable for creating, developing, promoting and championing a diverse, multicultural workforce where all people can achieve and contribute to the company’s success. The spirit of inclusion feeds into everything we do, on/off screen.
 
From the programming and movies we create to employee benefits/programs and #Viacommunity outreach initiatives, we believe that opportunity, access, resources and rewards should be available to and for the benefit of all. For us, it’s more than an idea, it’s part of our business. Being open to all voices and viewpoints behind the screen helps us connect with audiences and retain the best talent, who know that they can bring their full selves to work.
 

Winning! Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV

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It’s been a great few weeks at VIMN! We have had a variety of cool new programs introduced across our brands. The launch of these shows has been really exciting and successful.
 
The average number of 16-34 year olds who tuned in to watch the first episode of MTV’s Just Tattoo of us was a whopping 417,000 making it one of MTV’s top 5 rating shows of all time.
 
The Comedy Central UK group has also seen growth in its share of viewing across the 16-34 year old age group year on year between October and March. This is the best ever performance in the first half of Viacom’s financial year.
 
Similarly, the launch of new kids show Rusty Rivets on Nick Jr saw 100,000 kids tune in to watch the premiere episode of the animated series. This is a 167% increase against slot average for kids between the ages of 4 – 15.
 
Congratulations to all involved!

MTV Scraps Gender Specific Awards

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Instead of the best actor and actress categories, MTV has opted for a single gender-neutral category that will be opened for both male and female actors. The decision to make the awards gender neutral comes at a time when there has been a series of debates about the issue of different gender categories for acting.

Although other popular award ceremonies like The Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys and Baftas all still have separate categories for men and women, music awards ceremony the Grammys has always had non-gendered categories.

Speaking to New York magazine regarding the decision to scrap gendered categories, MTV president Chris McCarthy said: “this audience actually doesn’t see male-female dividing lines, so we said, ‘let’s take that down.’”

However Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of ‘Women and Hollywood’, a website that advocates for gender equality in film, is of a different opinion and thinks the decision could have more adverse effects than positive ones.

She argued “We are all for more inclusivity, especially for people who identify as non-binary, but we caution that this could severely effect female nominees in the future,” she told the Guardian. “We already know that women are severely underrepresented in many categories – only 20% of the non-acting Oscar nominees were women this year – and so if different awards events decide to remove gender identification from categories it is incumbent upon them to work even harder to make sure a full spectrum of people are included in the nominees as well as in the selection committees.”

Finally, awarding best categories for each gender means that we are actually unable to recognise who the ‘best’ really is. Creativity should have no gender; therefore the example set by Grammys should be the blueprint for award recognitions.

Q&A – Katy Sykes

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What is your name and current job?

Katy Sykes, Publicist at Comedy Central

What is an average work day like for you?

It’s such a varied role and every day is different (which is why I love it!). I write press releases to announce our exciting new shows, talk to journalists about our content, help to set up interviews with talent and liaising with the team at Comedy Central to ensure we have everything we need to promote our shows to the press.

How long have you been with the company?

8 months!

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Doing press interviews with Alfonso Ribeiro aka Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air! Hearing the origins of the Carlton dance straight from the horse’s mouth was amazing.

Who or what inspired you to pursue this as your career?

When I was 17 and adamant I was going to be a marine biologist (turns out you don’t actually swim with dolphins all day every day, who knew?!) my mum told me I had the gift of the gab and would be better suited to a life in PR. I’ve always wanted to work in TV and have been fortunate enough to do so and love it!

If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give?

Take more risks.

Thanks Katy!

 

(Looking for a new career or the next step? Check out our jobs pages: Careers.vimn.com)

Understanding Global Attitudes towards LGBT

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Acceptance of the LGBT community is growing globally, but equality is still a long way off. For International Transgender Day of Visibility last week, we had a presentation on the findings of a survey that Viacom sponsored in collaboration with Logo and ILGA.

The survey was the largest ever on the topic of global attitudes towards LGBT, reaching 100,000 people in 65 countries. Viacom research shows the power of entertainment to shape attitudes, particularly the transformative role of entertainment upon LGBT acceptance. This study highlights that its everyone’s responsibility to encourage inclusion and embrace difference in every walk of life.

Entertainment and celebrities are the first agents of change for mainstream acceptance.  They lead to increased visibility which in turn, ultimately has a positive impact on LGBTI acceptance and policy. Especially in areas where personally knowing someone who is LGBT is less common, celebrities play a crucial role in shaping young people’s opinion with 1 in 4 saying they are more likely to accept LGBT people if their favorite celebrity did too.

Facebook Live discussion – MTV Staying Alive

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MTV Staying Alive’s ambassador, Leona Lewis, came to our Camden offices to take part in an important Facebook Live discussion alongside MTV Staying Alive’s Executive Director, Georgia Arnold, Trustee and women’s rights activist, Mallah Tabot and supporter and ambassador Laura Whitmore.

They chatted about the issues facing women in the workplace and advancing the conversation around HIV to help inspire change.

 

Nickelodeon International is #Winning: Together for Good Takes Home Two Cynopsis Social Good Awards

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Earlier this month, the Nickelodeon International Pro Social Team took home two prestigious Cynopsis Social Good Awards for “Best Spot (30 seconds or less)” and “Best Public Service Announcement.” Both submissions honoured Nickelodeon’s Together for Good campaign with UNICEF. The 2016 partnership encouraged positive social values, challenging inequalities and giving voice to all children, tackling complicated issues in a fun and engaging way that children could relate to. The program aired in more than 150 countries and was translated into 13 languages.

Building upon the success of this activation, last week, the team launched “Together We Rock” in partnership with Plan International. The campaign is dedicated to promoting gender equity, and features an online game led by Tomika from School of Rock as well as a programming marathon set to air in May across more than 170 countries and territories internationally.

 

OSN, Viacom expand content agreement

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Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) has extended its distribution agreement in order to allow an increased variety of channels as well as exclusive content available for OSN customers in the Middle-East. This partnership adds three new channels for OSN, TeenNick, Nicktoons and Paramount channel to the existing catalogue that includes other brands distributed by VIMN in the Middle East exclusively on OSN include Nickelodeon HD, Nick Jr, Comedy Central, VH1, MTV Live HD.

Following the launch of the first Paramount channel five years ago, the middle-eastern version will become the twelfth of its kind in the world, expanding the Paramount channel capability to over 94 million households in about 100 countries.

“The partnership with OSN has been the key driver of our success in this region. Together we continue to find effective ways to expand the presence of the VIMN brands and deliver great content to audiences across the region. The expanded agreement reinforces VIMN’s position as a key provider of international branded content across OSN’s platforms,’ said Raffele Annecchino, President & MD, VIMN SWEMEA.

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