It started as a way for the music industry to protest the death of George Floyd, with major labels giving their employees the day off on Tuesday “to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community”, but the Blackout Tuesday movement has spread like wildfire across the entertainment industry and far beyond.
Social media is awash with people posting messages of solidarity, with Instagram in particular flooded with plain black images, usually accompanied by a relevant hashtag.
However, there is a debate raging about how people, particularly those with influence, can protest without disrupting important information that spreads through social media channels on the back of hashtags.
Olivia Wilde, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, who all have large online followings, were three of a multitude of celebs who posted the solid black image and accompanied it with the Black Lives Matter hashtag.
Many have since moved to point out that using the #BlackLivesMatter tag – rather than #BlackoutTuesday or the original #TheShowMustBePaused – while well intentioned, might cause problems for other accounts attempting to spread important and timely information about the cause while the protests continue to rage around the globe.
Paul Mescal, the breakout star of Normal People, and Kumail Nanjiani both made the point.
Kenidra R. Woods, an activist on twitter with 70k+ followers, spelled out the issue.
Many more celebrities have posted their own forms of solidarity messages on their social media channels, here’s a few.
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