MTV Australia will go off the air for 12 hours on Thursday in a move meant to encourage viewers to make their voice heard in the country's upcoming vote on same-sex marriage rights.
Instead of normal programming, the network will air an automated message encouraging Australians to register to vote from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, which marks the deadline for voting registration Down Under.
“As a leading youth entertainment brand that supports inclusiveness and equal rights for all Australians, MTV wants to encourage young Australians to get out and do their part in ensuring their voices are heard in the Australian Marriage Law postal vote,” said Simon Bates, Head of MTV Asia Pacific, according to NewNowNext.
MTV has a history of encouraging the right to vote over the last 27 years. The American branch of the network teamed up with non-profit “Rock The Vote” in 1990 to launch voting PSAs ― including a very memorable one starring Madonna wearing just a bikini and wrapped in an American flag ― and has been working with the group ever since.
Same-sex marriage is still not legal in Australia, which lags behind the majority of other developed nations around the globe in terms of marriage equality.
The conversation about same-sex marriage rights has sparked polarizing debate throughout the nation, with opponents resorting to a horrific “stop the fags” campaign to encourage Australians to vote “no” on the initiative.
Surveys will be mailed out to registered Australians who are registered to vote beginning on Sept 12. Those interested in having their vote count in the marriage equality debate will then have until Nov. 7 to return their surveys. The result of the vote will be announced on Nov. 15.