Music industry plans blackout in solidarity with Black community following George Floyd death

Warner, Universal and Dirty Hit are among the labels joining the movement

A host of record labels and other music industry figures are planning a social media blackout on Tuesday (June 2) in solidarity with the black community.

Messages shared by Warner, Universal, Dirty Hit and more set out a plan to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” for the day, held as “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

The decision comes in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota earlier this week. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after being apprehended by a white police officer. Officer Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“Due to recent events please join us as we take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change,” the message begins.

“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 a loss.

“Join us on Tuesday June 2 as a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community,” the message concludes, adding the hashtag “#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED.”

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#theshowmustbepaused #blacklivesmatter

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Universal Music Group quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. in its Instagram post supporting the blackout, echoing his sentiments that “there comes a time when silence is betrayal”.

The Caroline label wrote: “Our Black friends are not ok, our Black families are not ok, we are not and should not be ok.”

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A number of figures in the music industry have also spoken out on Floyd’s death. Taylor Swift this week called out President Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweets about the situation, saying: “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence,” and threatening to “vote [Trump] out in November”.

Elsewhere, rapper 6LACK has weight in on the high-profile deaths of Floyd as well as Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, while Bon Iver has led a new $30,000 donation to the George Floyd Memorial Fund.

Billie Eilish also shared her thoughts on the matter, writing: “If I hear one more white person say ‘all lives matter’ one more fucking time I’m gonna lose my fucking mind,” while Run The Jewels rapper Killer Mike sent an emotional message to the residents of his hometown of Atlanta, a city that has sparked into violence since Floyd’s death.

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