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Blackout Tuesday: Entertainment Companies Take Time To Reflect, Explore Ways To Provoke Change In Response To George Floyd Death – Update

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UPDATED, 3:20 PM: 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.

PREVIOUS, 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.

The partners of the Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston agency sent the following note to staff on Monday:
Dear RBEL family,
Dan, Jim, Vanessa and I are horrified by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, just to name a few. We wanted to express our unwavering support of black communities across the country. We stand in solidarity with our black and diverse clients and colleagues across the industry.
We will be joining many of our industry colleagues in observing Black Out Tuesday tomorrow. It is our hope that tomorrow’s closure will give those who wish to protest the opportunity to do so, give us the time to educate ourselves and our family members (here are some anti-racism resources), or any other way in which you wish to contribute to the conversation around the atrocities committed against the black communities across the nation.
With love,
Robb, Dan, Jim, Vanessa

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

Dear 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.”

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED

Thank you.

Jim

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