Sony Music Group has announced the launch of a $100 million fund to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world. The company — which includes all of its recorded-music and content divisions and music-publishing company — will immediately begin to donate to organizations that foster equal rights, according to the announcement.
In making the announcement, Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group, said, “Racial injustice is a global issue that affects our artists, songwriters, our people and of course society at large. We stand against discrimination everywhere and we will take action accordingly with our community fully involved in effectively using these funds.”
On “Blackout Tuesday” earlier this week, Stringer curated an elaborate day of programming that included town halls and “conversations” with filmmaker Spike Lee; Ben Crump, the attorney representing the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor; artists Kane Brown and Kirk Franklin; the head of the new National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, H. Beecher Hicks, III; and activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Jon Platt, chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and the highest ranking black executive at a global music company, wrote a powerful op-ed Monday morning calling for change. A task force is also said to be in the works, according to insiders. At Sony’s Epic Records, chairman/CEO Sylvia Rhone and A&R chief Ezekiel Lewis led a town hall discussion with the staff, for which they were joined by artists T.I. and Will.I.Am.
Elsewhere, a group of executives have banded together to form The Promotion Coalition, an anti-racist fundraising and action effort which aims to raise $100,000. In a mission statement on its GoFundMe page, the organizers have put aside their radio promotion duties this week “to mobilize ourselves in a loud, clear, public anti-racism effort — with our actions, our voices and our networks. … This is our starting point. There is no finish line.”