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#TheShowMustBePaused creators reveal plans for phase two


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The creators of the #TheShowMustBePaused movement, Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, have been talking about their plans for a second phase of action following the industry pause of 2 June. The pair issued a statement yesterday.

“Yesterday was a strong start to the change we want to make in the industry. We are taking all thoughts and ideas that were gathered and we will be implementing them into Phase 2 of this movement,” said Agyemang. “Next steps are about clarifying needs and mobilizing the people to be the change we wish to see. The goal is to tap into the community at large to create change that is impactful and long lasting.”

“The point was never to mute ourselves. This was a day to completely disconnect from work and make a difference in our community because we should not normalise what is happening,” added Thomas. According to Billboard, the #TheShowMustBePaused hashtag was shared more than 700k times this week, although the accompanying video summits involving more than 1,500 people discussing ideas for change are just as significant.

Variety has a good piece rounding up the responses so far within the major labels, while Bloomberg reported that Spotify will match up to $10m of donations to “organisations focused on fighting injustice” while also donating $1m in advertising inventory to social justice groups. This Twitter thread shows some of the tensions within Spotify over its response so far, including the matching element of its new commitment.

As Agyemang and Thomas have made clear, this is a rolling movement rather than a one-off event: expect more action, more announcements and more debate. One example: Bandcamp’s decision to donate 100% of its share of sales on its platform on 19 June to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the US, plus $30k a year allocated to partner with organisations that “fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of colour”. For companies and the industry alike, this is both an issue of immediate urgency, and a short, mid AND long-term push for meaningful change.

As a reminder: we’re hoping to publish an article, either tomorrow or on Monday depending on the response, with our readers’ thoughts on what 2 June meant, and what actions you and your companies have taken. You can email editor Stuart (please say if you’re happy to have your name and company published or would rather remain anonymous – either is fine). Also, if you’d rather publish your thoughts elsewhere on your own site or social profiles, if that’s public we’d love to link to it from our piece too: just let us know.

Stuart Dredge

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