UPDATED with latest: APA observed Blackout Tuesday by holding A Conversation for Action, part of its APA Elevate series, to focus on education and identify ways in which to fight for real and meaningful change. In addition to APA staff and clients, the Zoom webinar audience included showrunners, managers, studio and network executives, producers and talent who heard from voices such as Anoa Changa, attorney, political organizer, journalist and host of the podcast The Way with Anoa; and Isaac Wright Jr., executive producer of the critically-acclaimed ABC series, For Life, who spent more than seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The webinar also encouraged attendees to take time to explore various resources, such as ColorOfChange.org, NAACP.org, Black Lives Matter, and the ACLU, among others.
PREVIOUSLY, June 1: A growing number of entertainment companies are joining the Blackout Tuesday initiative on June 2 in a message of solidarity in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
An image calling for a “Blackout” on Tuesday, along with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, began circulating on social media on Friday. It called for Tuesday to be used as “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” via “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”
Among the companies that have announced they will participate in Blackout Tuesday, joining a slew of music industry companies, are agencies UTA, ICM Partners, CAA, Gersh, Verve, Pantheon, APA, TalentWorks, Buchwald, WME, the Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston agency and Stewart Talent; management companies Artists First, Inspire Entertainment, Odenkirk Provissiero, Silver Lining Entertainment and Management 360; ViacomCBS; Funny or Die; Wallman PR; AGC Studios; production/management company Sugar 23; Amasia Entertainment, law firm Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark.
You can see some of their announcements below. We will be updating as more come in.
Alcon Entertainment CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove:
Since Alcon Entertainment began over 23 years ago, the two of us have never issued a statement regarding current events. While both of us are active in our communities, as well as in various civic and political endeavors, professionally, we have chosen to allow all of yours and our work as a company to reflect the values that we all hold dear. However, as the longest running interracial business partnership in the entertainment industry, we have decided that it was essential to speak out regarding the most recent events that have enveloped our country. The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have once again laid bare a reality that is all too familiar in our country, namely, that of African Americans being senselessly murdered for only one reason, that being the color of their skin. Today’s technology has allowed more of these horrific incidents to become widely seen and known. However, as we all know, the brutal killings of African Americans in the United States is almost as old our nation itself. That is a very painful and ugly truth, but it is THE TRUTH. The United States is a great nation, but she will never reach her full potential until we truly address the profound scars of racial inequality and injustice that persist still today. To do so requires leadership, and no one of us should expect that leadership to come from the highest levels of our current federal government. So, now more than ever, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to be the leaders we need; in our communities and in our places of work and in the individual choices that we make to be compassionate, empathetic and open-minded to hearing one another’s points of views in a constructive and kind way. As a company we will not only continue to set the standard for inclusion and opportunity, as we have for the last two decades, we will also redouble these efforts going forward. We end this note with a quote from Thurgood Marshall which we believe speaks so aptly to this moment and what is needed at this time:
“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
Let each and every one of us be the change we want to see.
Broderick & Andrew
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Tomorrow, June 2nd, UTA will join the Blackout Tuesday movement – suspending our business operations in solidarity with the black community and those fighting against social injustice in our country. During this time, we will also be silent across our social channels and take time to listen, reflect and educate ourselves. We will use our position in the industry to support the voices affected by oppression, racism and hate. We ask that you all do the same. #theshowmustbepaused
On Monday, management company Odenkirk Provissiero also notified their employees that they will be closed in solidarity with Blackout Tuesday.
A MESSAGE FROM JIM GOSNELL TO APA
On Tuesday, June 2nd, APA will observe “Black Out Tuesday” as a day of reflection and meaningful action in support of our colleagues, families, friends, clients and global community in the fight for racial justice.
While this is just one day, we will continue our commitment in the coming weeks and months that follow to identify and take action on what we can do as a company to fight for real change.
To quote APA’s first client, renowned civil rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte, “Each and every one of you has the power, the will and capacity to make a difference in the world in which you live.”