Bonnie Hammer has never been one to sit on the sidelines.
The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chairman announced Tuesday that she’s relaunching the company’s Emmy-winning Erase the Hate campaign across her collection of cable networks, which includes USA, Syfy, Bravo and E! The multimillion dollar, pro-social campaign, which will roll out over the next several months, is designed to support and fund emerging voices in “the fight for tolerance, respect and inclusivity.” It is expected to include monetary contributions, grassroots action and airtime, marketing and communications support across her vast portfolio.
“When we launched Erase the Hate over 20 years ago, it was truly inspiring to see so many people rally around the call for inclusion over prejudice. We’ve dedicated a lot of thought for a very long time re-imagining this campaign for today’s digitally-connected world because sadly, this work feels more urgent now than ever before,” Hammer said in a statement, adding: “I’ve always believed people aren’t born knowing how to hate…they are taught to hate. It’s time to channel our energy into doing what we can to break this destructive cycle.”
Among the campaign’s many elements is an Erase the Hate accelerator, which will provide grants, coaching and mentorship from leaders in the field as well as marketing, publicity and skill-based support from her division’s employee volunteer corps. There will be a discretionary fund, too, which is designed as a real-time mechanism to provide micro-grants to people and organizations taking action in local communities during times of crises. Stars throughout the NBCU cable portfolio with personal tales of intolerance and injustice will be featured in multiple video series that will run on-air and online as well. Finally, NBCU Cable will collaborate with nonprofit partner Civic Nation, which will engage with state and local office holders and key community leaders as well as like-minded groups and brands.
As part of the most recent efforts, which are more than a year in the making, Hammer has tapped an advisory council of anti-hate thought leaders — including GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis, Center for American Progress senior fellow Rebecca Cokley and The Libre Initiative press secretary Wadi Gaitan — to help spread the word and take appropriate action. The group is rounded out by recognizable faces, including former THR/Billboard chief creative officer Janice Min, now a strategist for parent company Eldridge Industries, and Republican strategist Ana Navarro. Several of them will also be heard in an Anatomy of Hate video series, which is aimed at informing and educating audiences about the origins of hate and effective ways to counter it.
Throughout Hammer’s tenure, she has been vocal about her own experiences — be it as a female executive in male-dominated boardrooms or as a young Jewish student studying in the conservative Midwest — and dedicated to creating better worlds for others. In 2009, for instance, she established a Characters Unite campaign at flagship network USA, which featured PSAs, themed episodes, high school programs and other outreach efforts similarly focused on combating prejudice, discrimination and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance. Erase the Hate dates back even further, and is significantly broader in scope.