Rihanna, Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Chance the Rapper and more stars have gone dark on social media for the music industry’s Blackout Tuesday initiative in solidarity with the black community.
The initiative, originally called #TheShowMustBePaused, is a response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other victims of violence. Industry executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang launched it as a way for artists and executives to pause and reflect on how they can better support the black community.
While several in the music world and beyond have embraced the movement by posting black squares to their Instagram feeds, others questioned the effectiveness of a blank post and a hashtag. Country rapper Lil Nas X and singer-songwriter Kehlani were among the skeptics who worried the well-intended gesture might do more harm than good.
“I know y’all mean well but … bro saying stop posting for a day is the worst idea ever,” Lil Nas X tweeted early Tuesday, adding, “I just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever.”
Kehlani, Lizzo, Chance the Rapper and other musicians also cautioned participants not to attach the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to their Blackout Tuesday squares, in order to avoid clogging up a feed used to share important updates and resources connected to the cause.
“Hey everybody,” Lizzo said Tuesday in an Instagram video, “please don’t use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter because it is flooding the hashtag search, which is black pictures instead of information. So if you’re going to post a black square, just post a black square and say it, but don’t hashtag it.”