The music industry (along with the rest of the world) hit the pause button this past Tuesday to show solidarity with the black community as protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd continued across the U.S.
Using the hashtag #theshowmustbepaused, artists and record companies called for the industry to shut down normal business operations for the day as part of the ‘Blackout Tuesday’ initiative.
Atlantic Records executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang organized the effort, whose high-profile participants included the Rolling Stones, Eminem and Rihanna.
“Yesterday (June 2) was a strong start to the change we want to make in the industry,” said Agyemang in a statement. “We are taking all thoughts and ideas that were gathered and we will be implementing them into Phase 2 of this movement. Next steps are about clarifying needs and mobilizing the people to be the change we wish to see. The goal is to tap into the community at large to create change that is impactful and long lasting.”
The hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused was shared more than 700,000 times, while its official social accounts racked up over 70,000 followers. Additionally, more than 1,500 black members and allies of the music community — a group that included executives, artists, digital streaming partners and more — took part in a series of video summits in which participants engaged in an organized dialogue and generated ideas on how to effectively make change within the music industry.
Video sharing service TikTok announced:
“we will stand in solidarity with the Black community and the music industry by participating in Blackout Tuesday, when we will turn off all playlists and campaigns on our Sounds page to observe a moment of reflection and action.”
The company also announced that they would be donating to nonprofit organizations that support the black community, which has been disproportionally affected by COVID-19.
In a blog post, the streaming service Spotify stated that they would be adding an 8 minute, 46 second long track of silence to some playlists, which is the same length of time that George Floyd was restrained by police officers in Minneapolis before his passing.
It’s beautiful to see us all coming together as one nation, but its disgusting to think the reality of lives lost due to police brutality and the injustice in our system. We aren’t stopping this time. KEEP GOING AMERICA!