On Tuesday, the music industry shut down in a show of solidarity with protesters calling for justice in the case of George Floyd, the black man who died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer for over eight minutes. That shutdown was led by the #TheShowMustBePaused initiative launched by executives Jamila Thomas of Atlantic Records and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon, who billed it as “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”
Now, Agyemang and Thomas are sharing the results of that challenge. On Wednesday (June 3), the two women are reporting that the #TheShowMustBePaused hashtag was shared more than 700,000 times, while the initiative’s official social accounts racked up over 70,000 followers Tuesday. Additionally, more than 1,500 black members and allies of the music community — a group that included executives, artists, digital streaming partners and more — took part in a series of video summits in which participants “engaged in an organized dialogue and generated ideas on how to effectively make change within the music industry.” They would not name those who were involved in the summits, but said thoughts and ideas brought forth during those meetings will be incorporated into what is now being referred to as Phase 2 of the initiative.
“Yesterday was a strong start to the change we want to make in the industry,” said Agyemang in a statement. “We are taking all thoughts and ideas that were gathered and we will be implementing them into Phase 2 of this movement. Next steps are about clarifying needs and mobilizing the people to be the change we wish to see. The goal is to tap into the community at large to create change that is impactful and long lasting.”
Added Thomas, “George Floyd was killed on a Monday and the following Tuesday we all went back to work. This should not have been the case and this is why we called for the industry to pause on Tuesday June 2nd. The music industry is an industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. To that end, 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 point was never to mute ourselves. This was a day to completely disconnect from work and make a difference in our community because we should not normalize what is happening.”
Agyemang and Thomas note that although #TheShowMustBePaused is specific to the music industry, “these injustices we are facing in America are not limited to just our community. This is a global initiative and our efforts will include members worldwide.”