Music industry pledges anti-racist 'Black Out Tuesday'

Carla Harmon
June 2, 2020

Some of the bigwigs have, over the course of this turbulent weekend, called for a music industry-wide blackout in solidarity scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, tagging it #TheShowMustBePaused. In the week since the killing, Chauvin and three other officers have been fired from the force and Chauvin has been arrested for third-degree murder and manslaughter. Video footage showed him pleading for his life with one cop's knee on his neck for more than seven minutes. It called for Tuesday to be used as "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" via "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change". "As gatekeepers of the culture, it's our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss", United States distribution company and record label, Empire, shared on Instagram.

Columbia wrote, "We stand together with the Black community against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence. Now, more than ever, we must use our voices to speak up and challenge the injustices all around us".

Sony Music made a similar announcement, it said it would release no new music this week. And while the music industry was just adapting to operating in a new, socially-distanced world due to COVID-19, there is the new question of how the industry should respond to the sudden (and overdue) reckoning for racial justice rocking this country.

Late Friday (May 29), Jamila Thomas, a senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemang, a senior artist campaign manager at Platoon, began the #TheShowMustBePaused initiative. The website suggests ways to help not only George Floyd's family, but also the families of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was shot by police in her apartment and Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot by two white men while out for a run.

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