The music industry is taking a pause today (June 2) to observe an effort called #TheShowMustBePaused (or “Black Out Tuesday”).
To participate, countless artists and music industry professionals have taken to social media to post black squares in solidarity with the ongoing protests for justice and an end to systemic racism, but Lil Nas X expressed concern over the initiative, noting that this is not the time to be muted, but to “push as hard as ever.”
“i don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. we don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing,” he tweeted. “we need to spread info and be as loud as ever.”
Created by music industry executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang in reaction to the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and 46-year-old black man George Floyd, #TheShowMustBePaused calls for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” as well as an “urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”
The concern among some stars, including Kehlani and Sadé, is that #BlackoutTuesday participants are also hashtagging #BlackLivesMatter, which is burying important resources and educational material that typically live under the hashtag.
#TheShowMustGoOn clarified on Instagram that “the purpose was never to mute ourselves.”
“The purpose is to disrupt,” the post reads. “The purpose is a pause from business as usual.”
“If you use the Black Lives Matter hashtag, use it to share necessary resources and information for the movement,” it continues. “If you are not using it for that purpose, please type out Black Lives Matter with no hashtag, so we do no inadvertently mute vital dialogue in a sea of black boxes.”