CHARACTERS UNITE to Fight Racism and Intolerance at USA NETWORK

New Multiplatform Pro-Social Initiative Underscores Action And Celebrates


Mar 26, 2008, 01:00 ET from USA NETWORK

    NEW YORK, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Drawing on the legacy of USA
 Network's original "Erase The Hate" campaign in the 1990's, CHARACTERS
 UNITE has been unveiled as the network's new pro-social initiative
 dedicated to combating intolerance and promoting acceptance, it was
 announced today by Bonnie Hammer, president, cable entertainment and cable
 studios, NBC Universal.
     "'Erase the Hate' succeeded in showing the ways society can confront
 and remedy the devastating impact of bigotry," said Hammer. "Characters
 Unite takes things one step further. It's all about providing tools to help
 embrace our diversity, celebrating what makes us different and special.'
     A multi-platform initiative, CHARACTERS UNITE will provide network
 viewers and clients with innovative ways to fight prejudice and to promote
 diversity. The underlying message will focus on what each of us can do
 individually and collectively to acknowledge and respect our shared
     Additionally, it will provide an empowering new platform to bring
 together a wide mix of non-profit organizations, corporate sponsors,
 educators and characters all across the country through on-air programming,
 online social networking and activities on-the-ground in communities across
 the USA.
     During its five-year run, "Erase The Hate" was a multi-faceted campaign
 that received national attention as the U.S. Senate voted to designate
 April 30 as National Erase The Hate and Eliminate Racism Day. Further, it
 featured Emmy award-winning original programming, specialized educational
 curricula, and community activities including a national Erase The Hate
 Honor Roll.
     While the "Erase The Hate" program raised awareness and made a
 significant impact in homes, communities and schools across the USA,
 clearly - and sadly - hate and intolerance remain very much with us.
 Research from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that hate groups have
 shown a startling +48% increase since 2000 - and they reside in virtually
 every state in the country. The only answer to such a prevalent and
 virulent problem must be persistence and vigilance. The only answer can be
 for characters across the country - people of all ages, races, affiliations
 and backgrounds - to come together in interesting and engaging ways to
 address such a serious, underlying problem.
     USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series
 and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television
 shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 network in basic cable, USA
 Network is seen in nearly 94 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site
 is located at Characters Welcome.
     USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of
 NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies
 in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and
 information to a global audience.