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02 June 2020 00:31

Blackout Tuesday

Music Industry Calling for "Blackout Tuesday" in Response to George Floyd Death

At least, that's the message coming from leaders and artists in the music business as part of a movement being referred to as Blackout Tuesday. Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang spearheaded the effort to shutter normal business operations on June 2 via their #theshowmustbepaused initiative. A Twitter account tied to the group appears to have been created on Sunday, amid a weekend that saw communities across the country protesting the murders of George Floyd and others at the hands of police. In a letter explaining the effort posted to their official site, Thomas and Agyemang said it is "in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard." When Spotify announced over the weekend that it will support Blackout Tuesday (June 2), some people assumed that that the entire service will go dark: It won't. The streaming giant posted on its blog that it "Stands with the Black Community in the Fight Against Racism and Injustice," and is giving a number of staffers a "day of collective disconnect from work meant to help people reflect and come together in support of the Black community," only certain channels, playlists and podcasts will go dark.

The company also will match financial donations made by employees to organizations "focused on the fight against racism, injustice, inequity, and driving meaningful change," according to the announcement. "We are using the power of our platform to stand with Black creators, amplify their voices, and accelerate meaningful conversation and long-needed change. "Now is not a time for silence," the post concludes, "and Spotify stands with the Black community. The music industry is set to mark "Blackout Tuesday" in solidarity following the death of George Floyd in the US. Major record labels including Sony and Warner have said they are suspending business tomorrow and working with communities to fight racial inequality.

Mr Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis last week after white police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes, having handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground while arresting him for allegedly using a fake $20 note in a shop. Stars including Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Cardi B and John Boyega have expressed disgust at his death and shown support for protests against how police treat black Americans. Other celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, Ryan Reynolds, Harry Styles and Steve Carell, are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to help provide bail funds for anyone arrested and in need as a result of demonstrating against Mr Floyd's death. "We stand with the black community," Universal Music said on its Twitter account, featuring the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. Image: A police officer was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck in Minneapolis.

It said it would contribute to Black Lives Matter and other groups fighting racial injustice. In the UK, music licensing company PPL says it will also be observing the blackout. "Tomorrow, Tuesday 2 June, the music industry is calling on organisations to take part in Black Out Tuesday," PPL said in a statement. "PPL will stand in solidarity with black people and will observe this day. Image: Interscope is one of the music labels marking Blackout Tuesday in response to the death of George Floyd Image: Beyonce and Chrissy Teigen (below) are among the stars demanding justice for Mr Floyd Beyonce is among the stars calling for justice, posting on her Instagram: "We're broken and we're disgusted...

Numerous labels and artists are supporting "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community." The music industry is calling for a "Blackout Tuesday" in response to the death of George Floyd. On Friday (May 29), less than a week after Floyd was suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer during an arrest, numerous music companies and artists began spreading a message on social media calling for "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" and "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change." The proposed blackout is set for Tuesday, June 2. I will air replays of conversations with community activists, politicians and revolutionary music," Darden captioned his post on Instagram. Spotify also announced that it would be "blacking out" — and specially curating — specific playlists, podcasts and channels while encouraging employees to take part in the day; other music companies that have said they will participate include RCA Records and Epic Records, Republic Records, Def Jam, Capitol Records and Atlantic, among others. Earlier this week, a video of Floyd's death surfaced showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd for eight minutes.

Chauvin was later charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd. See more "Blackout Tuesday" social media posts below. A number of record labels and other music industry figures have called for a social media blackout on Tuesday, June 2, in response to the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck during an arrest. Messages circulated social media on Friday, May 29, calling for a day to "disconnect from work and reconnect with our community", held as "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change." Warner, Universal, Columbia, Dirty Hit, Empire, Republic, and Caroline were among the companies spreading the message of solidarity. Using the hashtag #THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED, the posts urged music industry figures to take a stance as "gatekeepers of culture" to "not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during loss." Columbia Records chairman Ron Perry was one of the first to make a statement, writing late on Thursday night: "We stand together with the Black community against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence. Universal Music Group quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in their Instagram post, writing that "there comes a time when silence is betrayal". A number of musicians including Beyoncé, Killer Mike, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga have also spoken out to express solidarity with the black community and demand justice for George Floyd.