U.K. Channels ITV, 4Music, MTV and Comedy Central Mark ‘Blackout Tuesday’

George Floyd
Courtesy of the offices of Ben Crump Law

U.K. TV channels and radio stations are changing their programmes to mark “Blackout Tuesday”, following George Floyd’s death in police custody.

Channel 4-owned 4 Music said it will pause its output once an hour throughout the day, and cease activity on its other platforms. “This a day to pause business as usual, take the time to reflect on recent events, and start a meaningful conversation around how to actively support and achieve progress for the whole black community,” said 4Music on Twitter today.

ITV daytime show “This Morning” briefly went dark today, showing a black screen with the words “Black Lives Matter”.

Host Phillip Schofield read out the message: “ITV say ‘We stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, storytellers and viewers around the world because #BlackLivesMatter #BlackOutTuesday.'”

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS’s UK services MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network will go dark across their platforms, including linear broadcast, at 7pm BST on Wednesday for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time it took for George Floyd to die.

A BBC news report said there will also be moments of reflection on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, while commercial radio stations including Kiss, Magic and Absolute Radio are observing a social media blackout “to show that racism of any kind cannot be tolerated”.

Apple Music’s Zane Lowe tweeted that he wouldn’t host his radio show. “I will not be on radio. I will be taking part in Blackout Tuesday, listening, learning and looking for solutions to fight racial inequality,” the DJ said.

On Friday last week, a number of companies and artists began sharing a statement posted under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, calling for “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”.

The initiative was started by Atlantic Records marketing executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, then shared by hundreds of artists including Billie Eilish, Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones, Radiohead, producer Quincy Jones and Eminem.