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MTV's Look Different Campaign Joins Forces with Jack Antonoff and More

MTV's Look Different Campaign Joins Forces with Jack Antonoff and More

With more than 9 in 10 young people believing small examples of bias can add up to major problems for society, MTV's new multi-year pro-social campaign, "Look Different," today debuted a second wave of thought-provoking and actionable initiatives. MTV's new "Good Look Panel" will help young people look differently at complex issues and participate in an open dialogue with experts, youth advocates, musicians and MTV talent, including fun. and Bleachers member and Ally Coalition co-founder Jack Antonoff.

Also serving on the "Good Look Panel" is Kailyn Lowry from MTV's "Teen Mom 2" who will be the first to participate in a Twitter conversation with @LookDifferent today, Thursday, July 17 at 4p.m. ET. Lowry said of joining the panel:

"After seeing racism first hand being in an interracial marriage, I have made it a personal mission to make everybody equal no matter their size, shape, color or creed. I have tried to bring awareness to equality and would like to continue to make noise in an effort to erase racism/sexism and anything else 'Look Different' fights for. Whether we look different or love different, we're all people."

MTV also issued a $10,000 challenge to its audience for a digital tool to provide a safe space for open conversation around bias, and debuted a series of new on-air and online spots focused on the hidden impact of "microaggressions" as well as a new interactive social media initiative.

"Good Look Panel": Beginning this week, "Good Look Panel" members will respond to audience questions, provide commentary and share their perspectives on bias-related current events happening in pop culture through blog posts, videos or Twitter conversations using the official @LookDifferent handle.

The diverse group of panelists also includes Ari Fitz (Arielle Scott) from "The Real World," Anti-Defamation League Director of Research and Communication Eva Vega-Olds, Preston Charles from "The Challenge/Real World," Alok Vaid-Menon from the queer South Asian activist spoken word group DarkMatter, "Girl Code" stars Tanisha Long, Quinn Marcus, Nessa, Jordan Carlos and Shalyah Evans, civil rights activist Michael Skolnik, the creator of the hit web series "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl" Issa Rae, Eddie Huang from MTV's newest series "Snack Off," and more (full list and additional statements of support available below).

"Look Different" Challenge: In response to the fact that nearly 70% of young people believe that there should be more safe online spaces to have respectful discussions of bias, MTV is inviting the audience to help create a platform for discussion around these topics through the "Look Different Challenge." The Challenge calls on young people to submit creative ideas for a digital space where peers can share personal stories about bias and discuss appropriate bias-related happenings in pop culture and the news. The winning individual or team will be recognized with a $10,000 prize, as well as given the chance to work withMTV to see their idea brought to life. More information can be found at http://challenge.lookdifferent.org.

"Broken Glass" PSA Campaign: "Look Different" will Leverage MTV's extensive reach on television and online with today's debut of the new "Broken Glass" PSA campaign meant to reveal the hidden pain young people experience when faced with racial and religion-based "microaggressions" like "Your English is so good" and "You don't look Jewish." The PSAs, which will also be rolled out online and via social media, will help young people decipher these common biased remarks that they may unknowingly make. To view all the PSAs, go to www.lookdifferent.org/videos. Alongside the PSAs, MTV will also be launching an online guide to "microaggressions" on Tumblr at http://lookdifferentMTV.tumblr.com, which will help young people break these comments down, show young people how to avoid making them, and give young people tips on what they can do if they experience them. Click here to view "Broken Glass" PSA videos.

#GoodLook / #NotAGoodLook Interactive Hashtag Initiative: Launching in tandem is the interactive #GoodLook/#NotAGoodLook social media campaign, calling upon audiences to share real-life scenarios that either challenge or promote bias. Participants will be asked to share photos, text, or videos to celebrate scenarios that challenge bias using #GoodLook, and to call out biased scenarios using #NotAGoodLook through nearly any social media platform. The best #GoodLook messages will appear on-air on MTV and the "Look Different" website at http://good.lookdifferent.org.

LookDifferent.org serves as the campaign HUB and, along with the campaign's social accounts (Twitter, Tumblr), helps 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. Previously announced components include: Implicit Bias Quiz (link) to reveal automatic associations people may have about different races and a seven-day Racial Bias Cleanse (link) to help people begin unlearning biases that have built up over years. Partners include the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Partnership for Women & Families, The Trevor Project and more.

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 MTV.com 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. For more information, go to www.mtvpress.com.

"GOOD LOOK PANEL" PARTICIPANTS AND STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT:

Jack Antonoff (Member of fun. and Bleachers; co-founder of the Ally Coalition, which works to inspire the music, fashion and entertainment communities to take action for LGBTQ equality)

"LGBTQ issues are the major human rights issues of our time. No matter how we identify, it's vital for all of us to stand up for each other. As long as some of us have fewer rights than others, we are not ALL free - rather, separated into groups of those born into more or less rights."

Eva Vega-Olds (Director of Research and Communication for Anti-Defamation League's National Education Division; Leader in anti-bias education, A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute)

"I remember being called a "spic" in college. It was my first day in class. I had never heard the word before and was actually not sure what the term meant, but I knew it wasn't intended to be a compliment. If you don't know, spic is a slur created out of the term "Hispanic." Through talking with some of my friends at school, I realized my friends were afraid of the word and afraid for me. It was a slur wielded at me like a weapon. The intention was intimidation because I am Latina.

The more I learned, the more I realized that there are many people who felt like that slur-yielding dude, and that wasn't cool. It made me think: what is this guy's problem? Why that word? Why me? Ultimately, it led me to an intellectual, and ultimately a professional path to learn more and do something about bias and hate. The Good Look Panel is giving me an opportunity to share what I've learned, and work on helping to promote understanding and equality with the MTV audience. Hopefully I will learn some new things too. #Stoked"

Alok Vaid-Menon (Spoken word artist and activist with DarkMatter)

"Growing up in a conservative (read: white, straight, and religious) town in Texas I learned early on how there's nothing really micro about an aggression. I'm excited to work with this project because I believe in the power of having honest conversations about the violence we've experienced, the differences we've inherited, and our dreams of a more just future."

Kailyn Lowry (MTV's "Teen Mom 2")

"After seeing racism first hand being in an interracial marriage, I have made it a personal mission to make everybody equal no matter their size, shape, color or creed. I have tried to bring awareness to equality and would like to continue to make noise in an effort to erase racism/sexism and anything else 'Look Different' fights for. Whether we look different or love different, we're all people."

Ari Fitz (Filmmaker; Appeared on MTV's "Real World: Ex-Plosion")

"As a black queer woman living in the Bay Area with a diverse friend circle, I've always felt sensitive and comfortable engaging with all people regardless of background, religious beliefs, education, etc. As a filmmaker and model, I often have to put myself in another person's shoes to better help tell a story. But even with this liberal sense of communication and relationships, I spoke from ignorance during my time on MTV's Real World and had to very publicly correct myself.

Bias exists. It's present in our relationships, in our humor, in our intention and so on. It's up to us to acknowledge it and catch it. It's up to us to be vulnerable enough to correct ourselves. Does it hurt? Absolutely. But, the day I opened up and addressed my own bias with millions of people watching is now one of the proudest and strongest moments of my life."

Preston Charles (MTV's "The Challenge" and "Real World: New Orleans")

"As a member of the Millennial generation who happens to be a gay black male, I have always been committed to issues of equity. As we become an ever more tolerant society the biases we all hold have become less overt and are commonly expressed through micro-aggressions. MTV´s "Look Different" campaign provides a rare opportunity for me to engage with my peers in meaningful and thought-provoking dialogues, providing us the tools to become a truly inclusive society."

Tanisha Long (Comedian, actor and writer; MTV's "Girl Code")

"Racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia come from ignorance and the fear of the unknown. I believe the only way we can find a resolution to prejudice and hatred based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, is to educate each other by sharing our stories and experiences!"

Quinn Marcus (Comedian; MTV's "Girl Code")

"Being a part of the "Good Look Panel" is one of the coolest things I've been asked to do since working at MTV. I think it's huge that "Girl Code" has a lesbian cast member and I'm still surprised that it's me!

When I was growing up gay and in the closet in Georgia, I couldn't speak about my sexuality and all the questions and fears that come with it. I've come a long way and am now very confident in my sexuality and speak about it all the time (especially on TV). Now, I can hopefully help other people who are still suffering or just have questions. And even if you're not gay, you can still have questions about it. As open and aware as our generation is, I think it's okay to ask questions and know that more can be done to make our world more equal. I'm honored and excited to be a part of the conversation."

Nessa (On-air personality; MTV's "Girl Code")

"I'm joining this panel because I feel that it's important to speak up and give a voice to people that may not have one. I always felt obligated to help out those who may be too scared or intimidated to speak on their behalf for what's right. I've dealt with all sorts of sexism as a professional broadcaster and I want to encourage those who might be facing the same difficulties, whether it be sexism, racism, gender bias, etc that they can take a stand for what they believe in as well."

Jordan Carlos (Comedian; MTV2's "Guy Code" and MTV's "Girl Code")

"I grew up with something of identity crisis. When people casually tell you, "You're not Black" because you don't mean their definition it affects you. I always strived to put myself in a bucket for other's comfort but then finally I noticed the damage I'd done to myself. These days people can take me as I am or eat one. I wish I'd come to this realization sooner and will strive to tell people younger than me to stop trying to fit in.

In my life I've also been gay-bashed, which is a strange thing when you've always identified as straight. It has however given me the unique chance to see the world through the eyes of folks who are maligned because of who they are. And when people to this day troll me on the internet and call the f bomb I don't retaliate or try to prove anything by showing pictures of my wife or baby. That would be given in to the notion that being gay is somehow a stigma. I choose not to engage. It's hard not to but it's the only way to break the back of persistent ignorance and hatred."

Shalyah Evans (Actress and comedian; MTV's "Girl Code")

"It's time to move past the idea of tolerating our differences and focus on accepting, embracing, and loving our differences. I hope that by talking openly we can all bring joy and support to each other's lives.

I'm a feminist. It's not a dirty word. Can we agree that women are people? Yes? Great- now you are a feminist too. Go treat women like people."

Michael Skolnik (21st-century American civil rights activist, writer, motivational speaker, digital strategist and entrepreneur)

"As a white, American, male, I recognize that I was born with the most privilege allotted to any person on the planet. With this privilege, the question I have always asked myself, is what I am going to do with it? I have devoted my life's work to uplifting the stories of those that have been left out of the conversation and elevating the work of those who have not had the chances I have had."

Eddie Huang (Chef, writer, speaker and producer; MTV's "Snack-Off")

"For me, it's bigger than just discrimination. I think the core of it is fear. Fear of things that are different. And this fear not only hurts the individual, it hurts our society. It creates war, economic crisis, and human rights violations. Once you travel around the world and meet different people, there's really no reason to be fearful of them because we are all the same. And I think what's very important on this panel is to examine fear and how we diffuse it in the 21st century.

I've been discriminated in countless ways. Chinese people can't do this, Chinese people can't do that. Why are you not good at math? Is your penis really 3 inches long? It's just countless shit that I don't even really like to think about because it's so ridiculous and it's all driven by fear because there's a lot of people that are insecure. They're not happy with who they are themselves so they take it out on other people. I think the most important thing is that people become secure with themselves and other people."

Yassir Lester (Stand-up comedian and writer; MTV's "Snack-Off")

"I wanted to be involved with this campaign because we live in a world of unique and remarkable physical qualities: gender, race, and sexuality. And instead of being afraid or ashamed of these things, I think they should be brought to the forefront, and celebrated for how incredible they really are."

Issa Rae (Producer, writer, director and creator, "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl")

"I wanted to be a part of the "Good Luck Panel" because, as an awkward ass person, I understand how it feels to look and feel different, especially where mainstream media's images come into play. It wasn't until I started embracing looking and feeling different that I finally found my voice and comfort in my own skin, and I want to encourage the next generation to do the same."

Mark Erwin (Director of Community Development at the Ruth Ellis Center, bringing a voice to the national conversation of LGBTQ youth homelessness and equality)

"For some, the idea of throwing their child out onto the streets because of who they are seems unfathomable, for the young person sitting with me right now, it's their reality."

Allyson Pereira (Youth activist and anti-bullying and sexting expert recognized by The White House, NJ House, and PA Senate)

"I am joining the panel because I feel like it is my life calling to make a difference for our youth. I am also living proof that it does get better and that one person can make a difference.
I care about these issues because they happened to me and I know just how "real" and terrifying they can be.

Just by pressing "send" I became "that girl" in school. "The girl with the picture" and for many years I let it define me. I was classified as a "whore, ho, and slut" and my reputation was ruined."

Brandon Ung (Taidam-Chinese American studying Business and International Studies at the University of Iowa; serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa)

"Bias is so ingrained in the way that we think that it sometimes dictates how we see and treat the world around us. In being able to identify and deconstruct instances of bias, we are one step closer to understanding our culture and thus ourselves. Culture helps to shape our identities, but we also shape our culture. I have hope that through joining this panel I am able to offer my voice and experiences as an impetus for people to critically think about the culture we are creating through our actions and how it is affecting the youth today and how it will continue to affect future generations."

Dillon Fernandes (Junior at Johnson & Wales University majoring in Hotel and Lodging Management with a concentration in International Hospitality Operations)

"I wanted to join the panel because the issues involving race, gender, and sexual orientation that people deal with every day can be very hurtful. These issues are things I have dealt with many times being an LGBT teen and I feel that seeing a person who has dealt with these issues succeeding in their life is beneficial to the people being hurt."

Blaise Dahl (Youth activist and singer/songwriter and frontwoman for the NYC/Brooklyn-based dream pop/indie art rock band,Dahl Haus)

"Deep down everyone wants to live their truth and be accepted for who they really are, on the inside and out. And that shouldn't be a privilege for the few; it should be a basic human right. Acceptance is the key to love, peace, and unity... in other words a better world ... and that's the only thing we should all be fighting for in the first place."


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