The music industry is calling for a “Blackout Tuesday” in response to the death of George Floyd.
On Friday May 29, less than a week after Floyd was suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer during an arrest, numerous music companies and artists began spreading a message on social media calling for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “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 loss,” reads the statement, which is being circulated under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.
Technology companies are participating in different ways. Apple Music, for its part, says it cancelled its regular Beats 1 radio schedule and is steering users toward a streaming station that celebrates the best in Black Music. It will also host a playlist designed to unite users, with regular intermissions explaining the protests and movement. Deezer and Tidal Music also tweeted support.
Spotify is also participating, placing a black logo and headline image on its “flagship” playlists and podcasts, while adding eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to participating playlists and podcasts — the length of time officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck.
The likes of Atlantic Records, Capitol Music Group, Columbia Records, Def Jam, Elektra Music Group, HitCo, Interscope Geffen A&M, Island Records, Pulse Music Group, Reservoir, Republic Records, Sony/ATV, Sony Music, Virgin EMI, and Warner Records have all pledged to cease business activity on the day.
Earlier this week, a video of Floyd’s death surfaced showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd for eight minutes. Chauvin was later charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd.