MTV Launches Multi-Year Campaign To Help Youth Accelerate Fight Against Racial, Gender & LGBT Inequality

New MTV Study Finds Equality and Fairness to be Hallmark Millennial Values, Yet a Lack of Historical Perspective Can Cloud their Vision; 2/3rds of White Millennials Believe Having a Black President Proves People of Color Now Have the Same Opportunities as Whites

Initial On-Air Programming Addresses "Whiteness," Microaggressions and Privilege; Online Elements Include Racial Bias Cleanse and Implicit Bias Quiz

New York, NY – WEBWIRE – Thursday, May 01, 2014

April 30, 2014 – Today, MTV – in partnership with a coalition including the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Partnership for Women & Families, The Trevor Project and many others – launched “Look Different,” a multi-year campaign empowering America’s youth to better counter the hidden racial, gender and anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) biases all around us.  The campaign reflects Millennials’ deep commitment to the principles of equality and fairness, while inviting them to look differently at subjects like privilege, prejudice and “colorblindness.”  Original research MTV conducted over the last year shows that a commitment to fairness, coupled with lack of historical perspective, can result in a clouded view; as an example, half of white Millennials now believe discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against people of color. 

Look Different will help young people better recognize and respond to bias – which most encounter on a daily basis and most find difficult to discuss openly – by leveraging MTV’s core assets, including on-air programming, social media reach, innovative digital tools, celebrity engagement (P!nk and Kelly Rowland are early campaign ambassadors) and much more.  Select elements unveiled today include: “Untitled Whiteness Project,” a documentary-style program that will explore how America’s “minority-majority” future is complicating white Millennials’ views on race and what’s fair; “True Life: I’m a Gay Athlete”; a PSA series on microaggressions; an Implicit Bias Quiz that helps unearth unconscious biases; and a seven day Racial Bias Cleanse, scientifically-grounded and designed to help people begin unlearning biases that have built up over years.      

“Millennials are the most diverse generation in history and it’s inspiring to see how equality and fairness serve as their bedrock values,” said Stephen K. Friedman, President, MTV. “However, that very faith in equality can also cloud their perception of historical and institutional inequities.  Rooted in powerful storytelling, Look Different will offer our audience a new forum and tools to more deeply explore these issues, while supporting their fight for a more equal future.”

MTV has convened a world-class coalition of expert partners to help steer the “Look Different” campaign, including the Anti-Defamation League, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Council on Contemporary Families, Define American, GLAAD, GLSEN, Kirwan Institute, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Partnership for Women & Families, Project Implicit, Southern Poverty Law Center and The Trevor Project.

Original MTV Research: For nearly the last year, MTV has been closely studying Millennials’ perceptions of subjects like fairness, equality, privilege and discrimination – with a special emphasis on race, which will be the main focus of the first chapter of the Look Different campaign.  Some findings from the comprehensive, nationally-representative study* of Americans 14-24 years old include:

On Race

* This subject also breaks along ideological lines, as 68% of those who identify as Democrats believe whites have more opportunities vs. just 40% of those who identify as Republicans
* Further, 36% of young whites believe the gains people of color have made in recent years have come at the expense of white people

On Bias & Microaggressions

* Further, more than half (53%) believe “bias is a serious problem, but it is mostly hidden”

On Equality & Solutions

An executive summary and the full study are available at

Programming and Promos: MTV today debuted the first of a series of thought-provoking PSAs that invite young people to take a closer look at common microaggressions and the impact they have on those who regularly experience these slights (see: It Adds Up 1 & 2).  Other upcoming on-air programming includes: and @LookDifferent: The campaign hub and social footprint (Twitter – Tumblr) will have a strong pop culture bent, helping young people recognize bias in themselves and their surroundings – while providing clear guidance and helpful resources they can use to challenge bias when they see it.  Components include:

Advisory Board: In addition to a coalition of world-class partners, the Look Different campaign is advised by a collection of the foremost authorities on matters of race, gender and LGBT issues:

Nathan Belyeu – Education Director, The Trevor Project; Lecia Brooks – Outreach Director, Southern Poverty Law Center; Stephanie Coontz – Director of Research and Public Education, Council on Contemporary Families; Sammie Dow – National Youth and College Division Director, NAACP; Patricia Foxen – Deputy Director of Research, National Council of La Raza (NCLR); Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher – Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania; Robert P. Jones – CEO, Public Religion Research Institute; Laurie Mulvey and Sam Richards – Executive Directors and Co-Founders of World in Conversation, The Center for Public Diplomacy at Penn State University; Derald Wing Sue – Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia University; Beth Yohe – Director of Training, Anti-Defamation League      

Partner Quotes:

*Methodology for the study:

Qualitative Research

Eight in person focus groups were conducted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Denver, Colorado, and Memphis, Tennessee from December 4th to 10th, 2013. Each group included a diverse selection of 8 young people between 18 and 24 years old.

Two online discussion panels were conducted with participants from across the country in February 2014. Each panel was conducted over five days and included a diverse selection of 20 to 25 young people ages 18 to 24 years old.

Quantitative Research

These surveys were conducted by David Binder Research. The surveys used a cross-section of online panels that are representative of the United States population. Participants were screened for those who were 14 to 24 years old and excluded those who do not currently – and never will – watch any MTV programming. The parents of participants under 18 years old provided permission for their children to participate before their children were invited.

Stage 1: Interviews were conducted in English between February 24th and March 2nd 2014 with 2,000 young people ages 14 to 24 years old. The overall margin of error is +/- 2.2% percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

​Stage 2: Interviews were conducted in English between April 4th and April 9th 2014 with 1,000 young people ages 14 to 24 years old. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.1% percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

​ Once the sample has been selected and fielded, and all the study data are collected and made final, a post-stratification process is used to adjust for any survey non-response as well as any non-coverage or under- and oversampling resulting from the study-specific sample design. Post stratification variables included, age, sex, race, and metropolitan status. The corrected data, which reflect the United States population of 14 to 24 year olds, were used for all analyses.

About MTV:

MTV is the world’s premier youth entertainment brand.   With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people.  MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy®, Grammy® and Peabody® award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile.  MTV’s sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture.  MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

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