Leading record labels announced a day of protest against the killing of George Floyd, to take place tomorrow under the title Black Out Tuesday.
Floyd was killed after being arrested by four police officers in Minneapolis on May 25. Video footage showed him pleading for his life with one cop’s knee on his neck for more than seven minutes. He died moments later. The officers were dismissed from their jobs and charges are pending against one of them, which led to mass unrest in many parts of the U.S. Many artists have also voiced their opinion on the matter.
Universal Music Group, Sony, Atlantic, Warner Records, Columbia and Interscope Geffen A&M all shared a statement carrying the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused: “Due to recent events, please join us as we take 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 a loss. Join us in Tuesday, June 2, as a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community.”
Universal quoted civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” “There’s no place this world for hate and violence,” the label added. “In the face of bigotry and prejudice, we’re proud of the way our artists, songwriters and employees have spoken out.” Columbia noted that “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.”
Noting the cancellation of all planned releases during the week of June 1, Interscope Geffen A&M said, “IGA will contribute to organizations that help to bail out protesters exercising their right to peaceably assemble, aid lawyers working for systematic change and provide assistance charities focused on creating economic empowerment in the black community. IGA is committed to taking long-term action in the continued fight for racial justice.”
Atlantic offered followers ways to get involved in the campaign. “Text FLOYD to 55156 to sign the Justice for George Floyd petition,” the label said. ” Add your name to the Justice for George Floyd petition at www.change.org. Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund set up by his family and to organisations like Black Lives Matter.”