A set of social movements were given a name this week starting with an initiative called The Show Must Be Paused. The music industry was implored to take action starting on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Per the announcement of #TheShowMustBePaused, this protest began in force in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black citizens at the hands of police.
Per the announcement webpage, The Show Must Be Paused took place on Tuesday, June 2nd, “meant to intentionally disrupt the work week.” As written, “It is 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.
“Thank you for posting and supporting #theshowmustbepause,” wrote Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang. “Pleae note: The purpose was never to mute ourselves. The Purpose is to disrupt. The purpose is a pause from business as usual. ”
The initiative was started by two black women, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang, and can be followed on Twitter at @pausetheshow and @theshowmustbepaused. As noted by their initiative, the “pause” part does not mean “mute.”
Apple Music joined in on the campaign by cancelling usual Beats 1 radio scheduling and directing all Apple Music users to a single streaming station and/or list of songs called For Us, By Us. Spotify hasn’t exactly blacked out today, specifically, but has instead had an “In Solidarity” list of playlists with their hero images dimmed and their subtitles changed to “Black lives matter.”
Social media users on all platforms have blacked out profile pics, posted black images, and connected support with hashtags #BlackOutTuesday and #BlackLivesMatter. It’s been recommended by community members and movement leaders on Instagram and Twitter that the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag not be used with the blackout, instead allowing that hashtag to connect users with support and resources, and to keep a record of incidents during protests across the United States and the world.