The Weeknd used his Best R&B win acceptance speech at the VMAs to call for justice for Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor. He picked up both ‘Best R&B’ and ‘Video of the Year’ wins for his song “Blinding Lights.”
The Best R&B acceptance speech was straightforward, “It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment so I’m just gonna say justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor. Thank you.”
— rodrigo (@WeekndVisuals) August 31, 2020
In the Video of the Year acceptance speech he restated the sentiment, “Thank you MTV, thank you again everyone involved in making this video. Again, hard to celebrate so I’m gonna say justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor.”
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 31, 2020
Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor are two of the latest victims of alleged police brutality. Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, WI police officer while he was getting into his car on August 23. Three of his young sons were present. He survived but his family says he’s now paralyzed from the waist down.
Taylor was killed on March 13 from shots fired by Louisville, KY police officers after they barged into her apartment with a “no-knock” search warrant. She was asleep in her bed at the time. The warrant was for the investigation of two men suspected of selling drugs, neither of whom lived at her residence.
The Weeknd were one of the major musicians who called for Americans to sign a letter aimed at defunding the police in June. The letter states that police and military funding has increased every year since 1973, which funding for public health has decreased every year.
“Blinding Lights” was the second single released in advance of The Weeknd’s latest album, After Hours, which came out in March this year. The Weeknd recently appeared on a collaboration with late rapper Juice WRLD called “Smile,” as well as a collaboration with Calvin Harris called “Over Now.”
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat