The Blackout Tuesday initiative was formed amid the protests that occurred after George Floyd’s death. According to NBC News, the movement, which was created by Jamila Thomas, senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records, and Brianna Agyemang, senior artist campaign manager at Platoon, encouraged music industry executives to silence all of its promotional content on Tuesday, June 2. Instead of posting what they have coming up, Thomas and Agyemang wanted the industry professionals to reflect on the impact Black artists have made to their labels. Since the initial plans for the movement began, social media influencers, actors, and those who support the movement have shared their solidarity by adding a solid black image to their Instagram posts or stories.
Upon seeing the array of posts on his timeline, Lil Nas X critiqued the movement on Twitter. In his post, he voiced his concerns about the damage the hashtag might create. Several of the users who posted the image used the hashtag #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter to further share their support of the organization. Through several of his tweets and photos, Lil Nas X shared that the work multiple activists have been doing can go unnoticed because of the multiple posts.
“I don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful,” he wrote. “We don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing. We need to spread info and be as loud as ever.”
Kehlani also took to her Twitter page to voice her opinion of the hashtag use. She pointed out that the Blackout Tuesday posts can be distracting for those who want more information on how they can help. The singer continued to say that if Black people are silent for one day, it can hurt the several messages surrounding the protests that have been created thus far.
“While I do appreciate the idea…. don’t y’all think getting off our form of communicating with each other, sharing info, seeing news… for a whole day… in the middle of a war on us.. is kinda dangerous?” Kehlani asked her 1.7 million followers. “By all means don’t spend. but we need each other on HERE.”
Following their tweets, artists like Chance The Rapper and activists like Kenidra Woods and Anthony James Williams also used their platforms to show the dangers of everyone participating in Blackout Tuesday. While the movement has been controversial, several music labels have shared that they’re following through with their plans for the day. Interscope Geffen A&M Records shared that it would cancel all its planned releases for this week. Additionally, Spotify held a moment of silence on its platform for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which was the same time Floyd’s alleged killer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck before Floyd was pronounced dead on Monday, May 25.