Music Industry Calls for Tuesday Blackout as Labels, Managers Show Solidarity With Black Community on Social Media

Shirley Halperin and Elaine Low

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Updated: The collective fury over the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated by a Minnesota police officer kneeling on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis, has prompted the music industry to take a united stand on Tuesday, June 2.

A message circulated widely on Instagram and other social media platforms on Friday evening (May 29) calls for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with out community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

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Under the hashtag #THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED, The sentiment of the post, taking responsibility as “gatekeepers of the culture,” is one dozens of companies took to heart in the hours after violence broke out in Minneapolis and other cities across the U.S.

Columbia Records was the first to publicly decry injustices towards underserved populations, with chairman Ron Perry posting late on Thursday night (May 28): “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.”

Home to such acts as Beyonce, Lil Nas X, Tyler the Creator and Polo G, among many others, the Sony Music label is also the oldest of American record companies, founded in 1889. Other companies followed suit, including UMPG, Interscope Records, Motown, Caroline, Kobalt, Electric Feel Management, LVRN, Pulse Music Publishing and many more. See their statements below.

 

Protesters took to the streets Friday in Los Angeles, New York City, San Jose, Atlanta, D.C. and other major hubs across the country following the death of Floyd at the hands  of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

In Atlanta, the protest began peacefully but took a destructive turn, as demonstrators smashed the doors of CNN headquarters, sprayed graffiti on the television news building and set a police cruiser on fire, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. The news outlet’s live feed also shows protesters picking up a barricade in what appeared to be an attempt to hit a police car.

Earlier Friday, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and a CNN camera crew was arrested live on air as they were covering the unrest in Minneapolis, where protests have continued for four days.

Los Angeles protesters have been seen marching downtown, chanting “I can’t breathe,” according to video captured by the Los Angeles Times’ Kelcie Pegher. In San Jose, protesters blocked the 101 highway, according to video from NBC Bay Area.

On Saturday, May 30, more companies joined in the effort and committed to the June 2 blackout. See their messages below:

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