New York -- USA Networks Inc.'s four-year-old
"Erase the Hate" campaign will continue under the new ownership of Barry Diller,
USA founder Kay Koplovitz said last week.
"Barry likes the initiative a lot," Koplovitz
said, at a press briefing outlining the campaign's status for this year.
Koplovitz, who is staying at USA for a transition period
following her recent resignation, started the Erase the Hate campaign in August 1994,
committing USA airtime and staff resources to eradicating bias. As part of this
year's campaign, USA will air a one-hour special, National Hate Test, which is
meant to illustrate the many forms of discrimination that infest U.S. society, April 30 at
7 p.m. The special will be hosted by Gregory Hines.
Koplovitz also expects about 100 cable systems to
participate in the Erase the Hate campaign on a grassroots level this year, including
systems from MSOs Tele-Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and MediaOne.
"This has been very favorably received by cable
operators," Koplovitz said. "TCI has embraced it as a national initiative."
An Erase the Hate marketing kit is being sent to USA
affiliates across the country. As part of the campaign, Koplovitz said, USA has created a
directory, available online, called "2001 Ways to 'Erase the Hate,'"
which lists more than 2,000 groups and associations that provide anti-bias information.
Schools are also using Erase the Hate materials as part of
the Cable in the Classroom program, she said.
The U.S. Senate has unanimously designated April 30 as
"National Erase the Hate and Eliminate Racism Day" -- a resolution that was
supported by the YWCA of the USA and the Anti-Defamation League, among others.
One of the sparks that prompted Koplovitz to start the
campaign was a case in Billings, Mont. The small Jewish community there came under attack
by a group of skinheads, and a Lutheran woman married to a Jewish doctor mounted a
campaign to combat their actions.
When a similar incident took place in Denver last
Thanksgiving, with skinheads attacking blacks, USA offered Erase the Hate materials to
community groups in that city, Koplovitz said.
"We [USA Network] wanted to give a voice, if possible,
to people working to change their community [through Erase the Hate]," Koplovitz