Blackout Tuesday: Why social media users are going dark in solidarity

RACHEL GEORGE and HAYLEY FITZPATRICK

Social media users are joining a reflective movement Tuesday in response to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and "countless other Black citizens at the hands of police."

Music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang issued a statement on Instagram to launch #TheShowMustBePaused initiative, acknowledging "the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard."

The statement declares Tuesday, June 2, as "a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community."

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"Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles, and successes of Black people accountable," the statement continues. "To protect and empower the Black communities that have been made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent."

Since issuing the statement, the initiative has grown tremendously, and public figures across all industries are joining in to show support for black lives. Users across the platform are posting black squares in solidarity with the movement.

Last week, a video of Floyd's death surfaced online showing former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly declared that he couldn't breathe. Four officers involved in his death were fired, although only Chauvin has been arrested, charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Def Jam, Interscope, Columbia Records, Island Records, Sony/ATV, Capitol, Republic, Warner Music Group, BMG, UMG and independent distributor EMPIRE are among the record labels sharing messages on their social media.

Users are being asked to not include the hashtag #blacklivesmatter on their posts if they are participating. This is so that posts with important information pertaining to the movement are not buried in the feed.

Celebrities including Tracee Ellis Ross, Kevin Hart and more have joined in on the initiative and shared black squares on their feeds.

Meanwhile, others, like The Blacklist founder Franklin Leonard, have critiqued the campaign.

"I am not blacking out on Tuesday. I'm Black every day," he tweeted. "And I'm damn sure not reducing the ways in which I can connect with members of my community and hear news directly."

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who has helmed projects from "Selma" to "13th" as well as "When They See Us," seemingly agreed with Leonard, tweeting back, "That part."

Since Floyd's death on May 25, protests have broken out nationwide and worldwide. Demonstrators are calling for an end to violence against black people.

Blackout Tuesday: Why social media users are going dark in solidarity originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com