Warner Music Group Donates $100 Million to Social Justice Organizations
The music industry is taking action.
A day after Blackout Tuesday, Warner Music Group–home to stars including Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars–announced a $100 million fund to support charitable causes related to the music industry, social justice, and campaigns against violence and racism.
According to Variety, an advisory panel made up of appointees from Warner Music Group and the foundation of its primary owner, Len Blavatnik, will establish procedures to identify and support those in the music community, and organizations strengthening education, and promoting equality, opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.
“This fund will support the extraordinary, dedicated organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against racism and injustice, and that help those in need across the music industry,” said Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group. “Our advisory panel, which will draw from a diverse cross-section of people from our team and the wider community, will help us be very thoughtful and accountable in how we make an impact. We’re determined to contribute, on a sustained long-term basis, to the effort to bring about real change.”
The donation comes after artists including The Weeknd called on major record labels and streaming services to “go big” with their donations. The singer donated $500,000 to Black Lives Matter organizations on Monday.
To my fellow respected industry partners and execs- no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services. I gave yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us pic.twitter.com/tWzHMacnu5
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) June 2, 2020
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) June 2, 2020
In honor of Blackout Tuesday, the music industry including brands like Spotify, Apple, and Live Nation paused operations to protest the killings of black citizens at the hands of police and reflect on what actions need to be taken to support the black community.
“The music industry is a multibillion dollar industry,” read a message on TheShowMustBePaused.com. “An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable.”
Republic Records announced that they would be postponing releases scheduled for Friday, instead “using the time to reflect on the injustices happening to the Black community in America, and discuss how we and our artists can use our voices to impact and create real initiatives for change in our communities.” Interscope has also pushed back music by its artists including 6LACK, Jessie Ware, and Smokepurpp.
Live Nation and Apple have also made donations to the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit focused on criminal justice reform. “To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.