WarnerMedia Joins #BlackOutTuesday, Urges Employees to ‘Take Care’

Company tells staff to “rest for the road ahead” amid the nationwide protests against police brutality

NBA on TNT/Twitter

In an email late Monday, WarnerMedia executive vice president and chief enterprise inclusion officer Christy Haubegger informed staff that WarnerMedia’s brands would be participating in the #BlackOutTuesday event and making the movie “Just Mercy” available for free streaming for the month of June.

WarnerMedia will be participating in #BlackOutTuesday tomorrow (June 2) by pausing all of our social media communication,” she wrote. 

“We believe in the power of story,” she went on. “The Warner Bros. film Just Mercy, based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society. For the month of June, ‘Just Mercy’ will be available to rent for free across digital platforms in the U.S.”

Various industry leaders and individuals staged a blackout Tuesday. Major music labels agreed to observe how the industry can support black artists, with some stopping work and agreeing to release no new music. In other industries, like at WarnerMedia, social media posts were halted. Individuals, too, posted simple black squares to their Instagram accounts and vowed not to post personal content for the day, using the hashtag #blackoutTuesday.

A hashtag movement named #TheShowMustBePaused called for a work stoppage and selected a Tuesday in the wake of the protests over the death of George Floyd to specifically disrupt the workweek.

In her email, Haubegger addressed WarnerMedia staffers who might want to participate in their own way: “Finally, if you also choose to take a more personal pause tomorrow, we hope that you will use the time to reach out and check in on one another, disconnect from email, take care of yourself and rest for the road ahead.”

Most WarnerMedia accounts had not posted by Tuesday afternoon, including those associated with Cartoon Network. The Twitter account for TNT Drama changed its display name to #BlackLivesMatter and posted Monday night about the upcoming blackout, writing, “We’re committing ourselves to lasting change, so we’re taking a moment to listen, learn, and take action.” The account for NBA on TNT posted the blank, black image Tuesday.

Some accounts, like those associated with WarnerMedia’s CNN, continued posting about the news. CNN’s various show accounts as well as its flagship @CNN Twitter continued to share updates on the protests spawned by Floyd’s death and other matters of national importance.