NEW YORK — The show will be paused. At least, that’s the message coming from leaders and artists in the music business as part of a movement being referred to as Blackout Tuesday.
Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang spearheaded the effort to shutter normal business operations on June 2 via their #theshowmustbepaused initiative.
A Twitter account tied to the group appears to have been created on Sunday, amid a weekend that saw communities across the country protesting the murders of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.
In a letter explaining the effort posted to their official site, Thomas and Agyemang said it is “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
Artists like the Rolling Stones, Quincy Jones and Billie Eilish have said they’ll observe the day. A number of artists have also canceled listening parties or fan events in response.
Labels including Def Jam Recordings, Interscope, Sony Music, Columbia Records and more are also expected to participate.
“We will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives,” Thomas and Agyemang wrote. “Tuesday, June 2 is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week.”
Exactly what that will actually look like will vary from company to company and person to person. But those taking part are encouraged to forgo emails, music releases and any other normal business operations.
At MTV, Chris McCarthy, president of the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, told employees in an internal email obtained by CNN that the company will, “focus our attention away from work and towards our community.”
“We will not hold any meetings nor conduct any business — rather we will stand in solidarity with our African American colleagues and loved ones across the country,” he wrote.
On Monday, ViacomCBS networks including MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and Pop, will go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement “and other victims of racism,” McCarthy wrote.
Organizers also encourage donations for victims’ families, community bail funds and getting involved with grass roots campaigns.
They also provided a list of anti-racism resources.
“This is not just a 24-hour initiative,” Thomas and Agyemang added. “We are and will be in this fight for the long haul.”