The music industry today (2 June) took a break from social media to remember George Floyd, an African-American who died after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest and suffocated him to death.
Floyd’s death has led to anti-racism protests in cities across the US, and in countries such as the UK, Germany, France, Australia and Brazil.
Musicians, celebrities and personalities have followed suit, adding a black post to their social media accounts to express solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter, the international human rights movement campaigning against racism towards black people. Many were using the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday in their posts.
In Asia, celebrities like Yuna, Fiona Xie, Joe Flizzow and Jon Chua have shown support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Singer Yuna shared on her Instagram that she and her record label are joining Blackout Tuesday to stand against racism and express support for her African-American brothers and sisters.
Stating that ‘racism and hate have no place here’ in her Instagram post, Yuna revealed: “As a Malaysian Muslim artist who grew up listening to music made by Black artists & composers, never imagining that I would then grow up and have the opportunity to work with talented Black artists, producers, musicians, dancers, even connecting with the fans - it’s my responsibility to come together not only to celebrate the wins, but also be there and stand together during a loss. “
“Without their perseverance we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy and be inspired by their art form- which connects everyone globally, even all the way to Malaysia.”
Crazy Rich Asians actress and host Fiona Xie uploaded three dark posts in a row to highlight her solidarity with the movement.
Media personality Mae Tan quoted a statement from her fellow fashion Instagrammer Guan Min, who also participated in BlackoutTuesday. The caption in her post read: “Let’s stand with our brothers and sisters #onelove #blackouttuesday.”
Fashion Instagrammer Guan Min, better known by her alias @girlwhocriedwolf, shared a personal tribute: “Let me preface this by saying, I’m usually quiet on social media because I’m not particularly an advocate for anything except being a decent human being at your core and spreading positivity, especially in the offline, real-life world. I’m a ‘in my own small ways’ and ‘person-to-person’ kind of person. Publicly speaking out on anything over social media is really not my thing and this is way out of my comfort zone.”
”The hurt, anger and frustration from the black community and protesters due to lifetimes of oppression is something most of us will never be able to understand or experience, and I cannot ever imagine what it’s like having to live the way they do, and fight the way they have to, for a way of life we absolutely do take for granted. So please, let this be a time for us to educate ourselves on the insufferable realities the black community has had to live with. Choose to empathise and lend your support by allowing *BlackLivesMatter* to be the current conversation and education. It’s not about you and me, it’s about them.”
”Now that this has sparked more conversations about racism and inequality in other communities and our own, I wish for all of us to use this as an opportunity to keep learning and re-educating ourselves outside of our privileges and comfort zone. It’s time to step up our game and work towards a better future for humanity as a whole. Start with yourself! We can always do more.”
Former band member of The Sam Willows, Jon Chua, also joined Blackout Tuesday via several Instagram posts. The founder of Zendyll Records shared that he will not conduct any business today to stand in solidarity with the movement, similar to the position taken by numerous record labels around the world.
“I want to learn and educate myself more on the issue of racism. In order to diminish racism, society has to progress together. This blackout by the music industry shows that rival companies are willing to stand together to fight racial injustice and inequality,” he added.
Singaporean singer Sam Rui has also added a dark post, urging her fans to not be silent and complicit about the issue: “The gravity of this situation needs to be deafening. Black Lives Matter is not a social media fad, not the latest news cycle; it’s the aftermath of hundreds of years of racism oppression and atrocities against the black community, and people like myself who were previously unaware, ignorant, and are privileged need to do our part in keeping this movement alive so it can finally result in a much-needed, long-overdue real and permanent CHANGE. Don’t be silent, don’t be complicit, don’t let this die out.”
Malaysian actor Henry Golding, who is famous for his performances in Crazy Rich Asians and The Gentlemen, included a dark post with just the caption #BlackLivesMatter.
Fashion designer Joe Chia stopped his business operations today in a show of unity with the movement.
Malaysian rapper Joe Flizzow has also uploaded a dark post to show his support.