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Blackout Tuesday: The music industry will pause to protest George Floyd’s death


On June 1, a protester marched in Philadelphia wearing a mask that says “I can’t breathe.”

Mark Makela / Getty Images

After George Floyd’s death in police custody and subsequent protests worldwide, the music industry plans to turn June 2 into a “Blackout Tuesday,” a day when business will be interrupted and dedicated to combating racial injustice. Numerous major music labels as well as famous musicians like Peter Gabriel and Mick Jagger have joined the movement, which is shared on social media with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.

“It is heartbreaking to see America tear apart again due to race problems,” the Rolling Stones frontman tweeted on Monday. “Tomorrow I’ll stand with my fellow artists and watch the Blackout Tuesday to combat racial discrimination and social injustice.”

The Rolling Stones official Twitter account also tweeted about the event. “Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie are with everyone who protests against racism, violence or bigotry”, says a tweet sent on Monday.

Many artists and labels used the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused when they expressed plans to attend Blackout Tuesday, which music managers Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang cited as “a day of separation from work and reconnection with our community.”

“This is what solidarity looks like,” wrote musician Billy Bragg. “Take a day to think about what we need to do together to support the black community.”

Columbia Records tweeted that “this is not a day off,” adding that “this is instead a day to reflect and find ways to advance in solidarity.”

A tweet from Interscope Records indicated that the label will not release new music on Tuesday, but instead will help “organizations to save protesters who exercise their right to peaceful assembly help lawyers who are committed to systematic change.” , and support charities that focus on charities. ” about creating economic empowerment in the black community. “

Some artists said they would cancel radio and media interviews and would not post on social media for the day.

“It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been involved in racism my whole life,” tweeted famous producer Quincy Jones. “That means it is just raising its ugly head and with God it is time to deal with it once and for all. My team and I stand for justice. Convos are had and measures are taken.”

George Floyd, an African American, died on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on a video of his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes when Floyd repeatedly said, “I can not breathe.” Protests ever since were staged around the world, with some becoming violent.

On Monday, a number of ViacomCBS networks, including BET, CBS Sports Network and Nickelodeon, went dark on their platforms for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin kneeled Floyd. (Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CNET.)

In the meantime, Spotify will add a silent title to some playlists and podcasts on Blackout Tuesday. “Selected participating playlists and podcasts included an 8-minute, 46-second silence period as a solemn confirmation of the time that George Floyd was choked,” the company said in a blog post.

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