#BlackOutTuesday spreads across social media in protest against George Floyd killing

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Effort began with 2 record industry executives calling for disruption of work week

The #BlackOutTuesday protest, spreading across social media on June 2, originated with two black female music industry executives calling for an intentional disruption of the work week to protest against the death of George Floyd and other black people in police custody. (The Show Must Be Paused/Instagram)
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Major broadcasters, music streaming companies and more are joining with celebrities and music labels in halting or altering their regular operations Tuesday to express solidarity with U.S. and international protests against the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

ViacomCBS Inc. said it would be on “on pause” for #BlackOutTuesday to reflect on recent events and to shift focus from “building business to building community.”

On Monday, the company had its channels — including CBS News, MTV and Comedy Central — transmit eight minutes and 46 seconds of breathing sounds with the words “I can’t breathe,” denouncing the incident last week that sparked mass protests across United States and abroad, including in Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

A Minneapolis police officer was arrested last week on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his role in the death of the 46-year-old Floyd.

Streaming giant Spotify Technology said it would feature an eight minute and 46 second track of silence in select podcasts and playlists on Tuesday, while also halting social media publications. Apple Music said it would use the day to reflect and plan actions to support black artists, creators and communities.

Hitting pause on music industry

On Monday, a host of record labels announced they would mark Tuesday by suspending business, delaying new music releases, and pledging support for racial justice organizations fighting inequality.

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