- Taylor Swift, Hillsong United, Cardi B, Justin Bieber and more, and music labels and institutions join to pause the show on Blackout Tuesday.
The music industry takes a stand today by joining the initiative to blackout today, June 2, in order to reconnect with their community and show their solidarity in demanding justice for George Floyd and many others in the black community that have fallen victim to police brutality because of the color of their skin. The industry vows to take this day to reflect and stand with the black community, artists, staff, colleagues and community leaders to fight racial injustice and inequality.
The #TheShowMustBePaused is an initiative created by Jamila Thomas of Atlantic Records and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon that urges the music industry to take a day for “an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.”
“Tuesday, June 2nd is meant to intentionally disrupt the workweek,” the movement’s statement says. “The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles, and successes of Black people accountable. … This is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced.”
The initiative is also to promote mental health amid the current climate and to fight for a sustainable change with an actual plan of action past a 24-hour reflection to protect and empower the black community in the long-run.
Many artists have pledged their commitment to observe Tuesday blackout include Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, Eminem, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Hillsong United, Cardi B, Joe Jonas, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Beck, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, Quincy Jones, Carrie Underwood, and more.
This day is not a day of vacation or an excuse to be idle, “it is an observation of our industry’s privilege, influence, and complacency – whether passive or not,” wrote Hayley Williams via a Twitter post. “We use this time (and learn to always) to empower our black brothers & sisters. amplify a plea for justice.”
Record labels and music institutions have joined in solidarity on blackout Tuesday. Many have announced to make donations to nonprofits organizations with the purpose to bring equality to people of color, with others stating of plans and changes that will be made within the industry as all denounce all forms of racism and inequality.
Capitol Records announced a donation to Color of Change, a progressive non-profit organization advocating for the civil rights for ending unfair treatment of the black community and to champion for solutions to move forward. Plans and actions will be announced in days and weeks to come.
Sony Music challenged the music industry in an open letter, that charges on change that needs to be made by creating a platform that provides “every colleague the encouragement for true self-expression. For people of color, this means the comfort to connect, mourn and heal in authentic ways that might be unfamiliar to, or uncomfortable for, some colleagues.”
“Perhaps with the music off, we can truly listen,” Columbia Records wrote.
Def Jam Recordings adds, “We must use our voices to affect change. We must confront systemic racism. We must challenge broken leadership. We must fight for the safety and dignity of black lives in peril.”
The Grammy Museum also joined the initiative stating that “as a cultural institution that celebrates community through the power of music…we’re committed to strengthening our mission and shining a light on injustice through music.”
The Latin Grammys stated its proud support of the initiative to blackout in solidarity with the black community, “As the industry unites, we remind our music creators that music has the power to break down boundaries and change the world. We must use this power to shine light on injustice, inequality, and fight for human rights.”
Live Nation also announced to “pulling the plug on business as usual” in observance of Blackout Tuesday to stand with the black community, the institutions staff, artists, fans and leaders. Live Nation has also donated to non-profit organization Color of Change, Equal Justice Initiative, and signed the petition for Justice for George Floyd via Change.org as actionable steps for sustainable action to fight racism.
Abbey Road Studios based in the UK has also joined their support for the black community and the long-term change against racism.