Hollywood is voicing its support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which manifested itself online Tuesday via a viral social media campaign.
The initiative, referred to as “Blackout Tuesday,” circulated widely among platforms. Originated by leading names in the music industry as a day to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community,” the movement quickly spread across social media with multiple brands, along with individual accounts, posting a black square in solidarity.
The “Blackout” movement was adopted by prominent entertainment and media companies, as protests over the death of George Floyd continue to rage throughout the nation. Netflix (NFLX) was one of the first entertainment giants to issue a statement on the matter.
To be silent is to be complicit.
Black lives matter.
We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.
— Netflix (@netflix) May 30, 2020
The move immediately drew praise from director Ava DuVernay, who created the Netflix hit “When They See Us,” along with Emmy-winning actress Uzo Aduba, a star in Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
Alphabet-owned Youtube (GOOGL) pledged $1 million to combat social and racial injustices while Verizon (VZ) — Yahoo Finance’s parent company — donated $10 million to various groups, including the NAACP.
Additionally, ViacomCBS (VIAC) participated in a blackout across its network and cable channels for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Monday Night — representing the amount of time that George Floyd was restrained and ultimately killed while in police custody.
The industry’s actions come at a time when major players have been strongly criticized for lack of diversity and representation.
For example, the only person of color to be nominated for an Academy Award this past Oscar season was Cynthia Erivo for her role as Harriet Tubman. This comes despite the Academy revamping its membership guidelines in order to attract more diverse voters following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy back in 2016.
On Saturday night, CNN anchor Don Lemon called out millionaires and “movie stars” for sitting out the protests. He later encouraged celebrities, such as Tracee Ellis Ross and Drake to Oprah Winfrey and Jane Fonda, to do more than just post on social media.
Still, big names like Ariana Grande, Halsey, Nick Cannon, and others did attend protests over the weekend, while rapper Jay-Z revealed that he had a “human conversation” with the Governor of Minnesota as “a dad and a black man in pain.”
Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193