#BlackoutTuesday for major companies in the US

Business

#BlackoutTuesday for major companies in the US

Show of solidarity with black community on social media against police brutality

BY ABBION ROBINSON
Business reporter
robinsona@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

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YESTERDAY many major players in the business arena stood in solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement by posting the hashtag BlackoutTuesday on their company websites and social media accounts, signalling a pause in business activities for the day.

This initiative comes on the heels of the protests and riots which have erupted across the US for the past few days following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, a police officer, who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck during an arrest attempt until he died.

Floyd's death, the latest in a line of killings of African Americans by law enforcement officers in the US, has reawakened deep anger in generations of black people who have fallen victim to police brutality and the racial injustice and inequality meted out to black people in the country.

Blackout Tuesday is a day-long social media blackout created in response to systemic racism in the US. It called for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” via “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”.

Beginning early Tuesday, brands and retailers including fashion giants Barneys New York, Gap, Fashionnova, Boohoo and pop star Rihanna's Savage x Fenty and Fenty Beauty participated in the protest, sharing a black square on their Instagram feeds with the hashtag BlackoutTuesday.

LA-based denim brand Lucky Brand had also issued a statement on Monday confirming that it too would be closing its website, offices, and stores on Tuesday. The brand has about 250 stores in North America.

Other companies included American Airlines, Gatorade, Nyx cosmetics, event organiser Live Nation and Viacom/CBS-owned channels MTV and VH1.

The music industry also called for the unity of the black community.

“This is not a day off. Instead, this is a day to reflect and figure out ways to move forward in solidarity. We continue to stand with the black community, our staff, artistes, and peers in the music industry. Perhaps with the music off, we can truly listen,” record label Columbia Records posted on its Instagram platform.

Other record companies and music streaming sites followed suit, including UMPG, Interscope Records, Motown, Kobalt, Electric Feel Management, and Pulse Music Publishing, Apple Music, iHeart Radio and Amazon Music. Spotify had also pledged to add eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to certain playlists and podcasts to represent the time Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck.


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