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Blackout Tuesday was launched as an attempt to get the music industry to spring to action amid the ongoing protests and rallies.
Many users took to Instagram, in particular, to post images of black squares in solidarity with black people who have been victims of police violence. Yet, while the intention was there, the actual execution had a disastrous effect. As The Verge points out, those who hashtagged their posts with #BlackLivesMatter and #BLM drowned out posts sharing information about protests, donations, petitions, and other important tools for the movement.
Kehlani called out the issue on Twitter, writing in a since-deleted tweet, “i don’t like this,” in response to a video by user @atothebed that shows what the Instagram feed looks like under the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
Another user, @KenidraRWoods_, shared a similar video on Twitter, alongside the message, “It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta. We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!!”
Lil Nas X and Chuck Inglish also expressed issues with Blackout Tuesday.
According to The Verge, the campaign was started by two black women working in the music industry: Jamila Thomas, senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemang, a former Atlantic executive who is now a senior artist campaign manager at Platoon.
The pair originally sought to utilize the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, asking the music industry to “take a beat for an honest reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the black community.”
“The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominately from Black Art,” they wrote on TheShowMustBePaused.com. “Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and success of Black people accountable.”
Many musicians, record labels, and radio stations have shown solidarity with the campaign by posting black squares and using the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. Some labels have also committed to not releasing music this week. The pair’s message emphasized that this isn’t a “24-hour initiative.” They added, “We are and will be in this fight for the long haul.”