Country superstar Carrie Underwood broke her silence on the protests against police brutality by joining music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang's The Show Must Be Paused initiative. Underwood shared re-posted Universal Music Group Nashville's statement Monday evening, in which the label announced it would join the Blackout Tuesday event. The protests were inspired by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
UMG Nashville shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., reading, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Underwood shared the statement herself, adding the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. "We must use our voices to confront and protest the injustice that surrounds all of us," the label's statement reads. "Universal Music Group Nashville is committed to identifying, challenging, and defeating the systemic root of inequality everywhere. We stand together with our black community against all forms of racism, bigotry and violence."
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Thomas and Agyemang started their The Show Must Be Paused initiative on Monday. They chose to make Tuesday "Blackout Tuesday" to "intentionally disrupt" the workweek. They established the initiative "in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard. We will not conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives." They said there will be more to the initiative than just a one-day protest and plan to announce more details soon.
Underwood was by far not the only musician to join the initiative. Hundreds of other musicians have announced plans to cancel all events and performances for Tuesday. Labels have also joined the initiative, with some announcing they have donated to nonprofit organizations to support protesters. For example, Interscope, Geffen and A&M Records announced it will not release any new music all week. "Instead, IGA will contribute to organizations that help to bail out protesters exercising their right to peaceably assemble, aid lawyers working for systemic change, and provide assistance to charities focused on creating economic empowerment in the Black community," the label said.
Floyd died on May 25 after a police officer pinned Floyd to the ground by putting his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness. The officer was fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd's family released the results of an independent autopsy, which found Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia."