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. Now, more than ever we must use our voices to speak up and challenge the injustices all around us.”
Universal Music Group quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in their Instagram post, writing that “there comes a time when silence is betrayal”.
On Saturday, May 30, more companies including Sony, Atlantic, and Epic, joined the effort and committed to a ‘Blackout Tuesday’.