Viacommunity, VH1, Comedy Central and EMERGE Werked the New York City Pride Parade

On Sunday June 24, roughly two million revelers filled the streets of downtown Manhattan to celebrate the culmination of Pride Month: the 49th annual New York City Pride March.

Among them walked a contingent of nearly 350 Viacom-affiliated marchers, a procession of employees, media and corporate partners amidst a pair of Comedy Central- and VH1-branded floats. EMERGE, Viacom’s employee resource group focused on LGBT employees and straight allies, and Viacommunity, Viacom’s social responsibility arm, had helped rally the boisterous crew.

Fans at the 2018 New York Pride Parade. Photo by Sarah Stone.

“June is a special month for EMERGE as we have the opportunity to bring awareness, engage, and celebrate with Viacom employees while we have the spotlight on us this special month,” said Emily Albertson, a senior manager at Comedy Central and EMERGE leader.

“We always see an influx of new members joining in June, which help us lead the charge in continuing to fight for LGBTQ rights for the rest of the year. We love having the opportunity to show employees that Viacom supports all of their employees regardless of sexual preference or identity.”

The day’s weather forecast predicted thunderstorms and scattered showers, but as a harbinger of positive energy, clouds parted around noon –  just in time for the parade to begin.

VH1 sponsored the parade with a float for the first time, choosing its award-winning show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, to represent Viacom with a glitzy, purple contraption emblazoned with show’s sassy catchphrase, “Sashay Away.”

VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race float “Sashay Away” was a fan-favorite at the 2018 New York City Pride Parade. Photo by Sarah Stone.

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Love for All Fankind: How Viacom and the Rest of the World United for Pride

On June 28, 1970, thousands of LGBT New Yorkers marched from Greenwich Village to Central Park to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It was a gallant acknowledgment of the brutal treatment of LGBT citizens; an assertion of their human rights. The years of living a clandestine lifestyle were over—they were out, and they were proud.

Gay Rights March 1970'S. (Photo By Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

The original Pride Parade in 1970. Photo courtesy of Getty.

Since then, the LGBT community has rallied around its darkest times, including the assassination of Harvey Milk and the AIDS epidemic. Homophobic legislation, job discrimination, and repeated acts of violence have only served to fortify the movement.

Now in its 46th year, Pride marches on after the LGBT community experienced yet another devastating attack—the deadliest mass shooting in American history. On Sunday, June 26, throngs of supporters filled the streets of New York from Midtown to Greenwich Village with rainbow flags and glitter—ever the flamboyant festival, but with a somber undertone.

Photographs of the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting are laid out prior to the start of the 46th annual Gay Pride march June 26, 2016 in New York. New York kicked off June 26 what organizers hope will be the city's largest ever Gay Pride march, honoring the 49 people killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre and celebrate tolerance. / AFP / the 46th / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Photographs of the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting are laid out prior to the start of the 46th annual Gay Pride march June 26, 2016 in New York. Photo courtesy of Getty.

“This year is going to be a lot more significant, a lot more important,” said New York Pride March Director Julian Sanjivan. “It’s painful, but at the same time, we want to show it’s all about love, it’s all about equality. We’re not going to cave to fear.”

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Viacom Brands Unite to Combat Hatred Around Orlando Tragedy

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In defiance of the hatred and ignorance that fueled the Orlando terrorist attack that left 49 club-goers dead early Sunday morning, Viacom brands in every part of the world have turned their expansive social, digital and linear reach to pay homage to the victims and seek solutions to the plague of gun violence that is terrorizing American communities.

“We continue to use our public voice to loudly support and celebrate unity, acceptance, diversity, resilience, and change for good,” Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman and COO Tom Dooley wrote in a joint message to employees on Monday. “At Viacom, we will never stop speaking out against hate and gun violence and loudly advocating inclusiveness and sensible laws that protect us from violence.”

That the worst mass shooting in American history targeted a celebratory crowd of mostly LGBTQI individuals during what happened to be both Gun Violence Awareness Month and Pride month is a reminder of the importance of both to evolving our national conversation on many inter-related issues, and many Viacom networks spoke forcefully on these.


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Viacom Shines at the NYC PRIDE Parade

Viacom employees were out in full force this past Sunday, wearing their pride on their sleeves at the annual New York City Pride March. With our EMERGE LGBT resource group and Logo network, our teams brought their spirit to the walk, dancing down Fifth Avenue to the beat of the Logo float.

From 39th street to the West Village, the air buzzed with energy and excitement. Spectators’ cheers and jubilation filled the air in the wake of Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling. Back in March, Viacom joined 378 companies and organizations in a submission to the Supreme Court arguing in support of marriage equality.

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