#TheShowMustBePaused and moving forward

Where does #TheShowMustBePaused come from?

Amongst the protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas decided to take action and mobilise the entire music industry.

The two former colleagues at Atlantic Records came up with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused to explain their mission: “the music industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold accountable the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners, who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people. It is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the Black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent.”

The aim was to dedicate one day to disconnect from work and think about how to make things change. The idea spread like wildfire and numerous people decided to post black squares to show their support to #TheShowMustBePaused. “Blackout Tuesday” eventually took place on June 2, 2020.

Some key actions taken on Blackout Tuesday

  • Thomas and Agyemang held their own online summit
  • Major corporations have donated money to organisations supporting the movement
  • Supporters posted black squares on social media. They were encouraged to use the hashtags #BlackoutTuesday & #TheShowMustBePaused rather than #BlackLivesMatter, as it would drown out key information to support the cause.
  • Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group spent the day revaluating their strategy.
  • Spotify included an 8-minute 46-second silence track in some playlist in remembrance to George Floyd.

But this is not the end! It’s only the beginning. So, what can we do moving forward?

These are only suggestions – feel free to share any other resources you have in the comments!

Let‘s all rise up and make sure that the voices of the silenced are finally heard.

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