Music Industry Stands Up In Solidarity With George Floyd Protesters

Music Industry Stands Up In Solidarity With George Floyd Protesters

Music Industry Stands Up In Solidarity With George Floyd Protesters

#TheShowMustBePaused on Black Out Tuesday.

#TheShowMustBePaused on Black Out Tuesday.

Text: Valerie Stepanova

To protest police brutality and systematic racism, the entire music industry has made the move to observe a day-long ‘blackout’ today, on June 2. The initiative comes after the infamous killing of George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis last week, wherein the 46-year-old African American was murdered by a white police officer Derek Chauvin. The incident has sparked a multitude of impassioned protests in the country and around the world; now, the music giants like Sony, Universal, Warner and others have pledged to cease business activity in solidarity with demonstrators and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The statement reads: “Due to recent events, please join us as we take 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. Join us on Tuesday, June 2 as a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community.” A number of record labels and music industry figures shared the announcement via a viral post, coupled with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.

Sony Music wrote: “The time for talking is over. We will stand together to act, because change must come and give way to progress.” The statement was followed up by a Black Out Tuesday announcement: “We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our artists, employees, colleagues, and community leaders in fighting racial injustice and inequality. This will be a day of action committed to meaningful change in our communities both now and in the future.”

Universal Music Group took to Instagram: “In the words of Dr. King: ‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal.’ When you have a responsibility to raise your voice for change. That time has come. There’s no place in this world for hate and violence. In the face of bigotry and prejudice, we’re proud of the way our artists, songwriters, and employees have spoken out. At UMG, we’re committed to being a force for constructive change.” The music giant also shared a number of posts on its record label accounts, including Def Jam, Capitol, Island and others.

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Warner Music Group said, “the music business at WMG will not go on as usual.” “While this is only one day, we are committed to continuing the fight for real change,” it continued. “We will be using this day to collectively reflect on what we as a company can do to put action towards change, and we will be taking steps in the coming weeks and months. As part of this, we will be contributing to Black Lives Matter and other organizations that are doing crucial work to combat racial injustice.”

Employees of these major music groups will be exempt from work for the day, while the participating companies, industry figures and social media users will presumably refrain from posting on their accounts. Artists, celebrities and music industry moguls like Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and Zane Lowe have spoken out about the social media blackout. “I am united with my black and brown friends and colleagues,” Zane Lowe wrote. “Black lives matter. Tomorrow, I will not be on radio. I will be taking part in Black Out Tuesday, listening, learning, and looking for solutions to fight racial inequality.”

With the nature of the music industry being such that new music is consistently released on Fridays, many people are questioning why the industry wouldn’t do a blackout on a Friday instead. Learn more about the ways you can take action today here.


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