MTV will break away from regular programming for 17 hours next week to run a continuous list of hate crime victims names.
The gesture, a scroll starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, kicks off a yearlong public service campaign against discrimination.
The commercial-free airing of victims names will cost MTV about $2 million in advertising, said Brian Graden, the networks programming president. "Our hope is it really gets the attention of our audience and motivates them to get involved," Graden said Thursday.
The campaign is prompted, at least in part, by MTVs own corporate soul-searching over its role in the rise of Eminem. The rap star, who received four Grammy nominations this week, has been criticized for profane anti-gay lyrics. His latest album also depicts the killing of his wife and the rape of his mother. MTV gave Eminem a two-hour special days before his album was released last year, played a sanitized video of his song "The Real Slim Shady" and saw him take top honors in its September awards show.