Nickelodeon made a minor political statement earlier this month when it followed its Viacom brothers by going dark for 17 minutes in honor of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, with MTV explicitly saying it supported the nationwide school walkouts protesting against gun violence while Nickelodeon simply said it supported “kids leading the way.” At last night’s Kids’ Choice Awards, though, Nick apparently chose not to carefully step around the stupidly controversial topic of gun violence by having host John Cena open the show with a tribute to the many kids taking part in Saturday’s March For Our Lives protests. Cena didn’t say “the NRA is a terrorist organization” or anything like that, but it is a surprisingly big move for the slime-oriented awards show:
Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown also addressed gun violence when she won the award for Favorite TV Actress, making a speech about using her voice to inspire change while wearing an outfit embroidered with the names of the Parkland shooting victims and the words “Never Again.”
Zendaya also gave a shout-out to the people she marched with earlier that day, telling the kids in the audience not to let anyone tell them that their age should prevent them from doing good things in the world:
If it wasn’t already clear that the kids making a stand against gun violence are part of a real and serious movement, the fact that these moments occurred during an explicitly wacky TV event and now appear on Nickelodeon’s YouTube page—implying that it wants more kids to see them—should make it even more obvious.