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    David Bowie's Facial Expressions During This Uncomfortable Old MTV Interview Is Sending Me Through The Roof

    "There's a lot of Black artists making good videos that aren't on MTV."

    On Sunday, New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins shared a throwback clip of David Bowie questioning MTV VJ Mark Goodman about the lack of Black artists shown on their network.

    In 1983, when David Bowie got MTV together and asked them why weren't they playing Black artists >>>>>

    Twitter: @MorganJerkins

    In the 1983 interview, the music icon said he was "floored" that there were "so few Black artists" featured on MTV. He then followed up that bold, yet accurate, statement by asking, "Why is that?"

    MTV

    Mark told David that MTV was focused on narrowcasting, which typically refers to TV programs targeting their programs to a specific audience as opposed to tailoring programs to a general audience.

    I think that we're trying to move in that direction. We want to play artists that seem to be doing music that fits into what we want to play for MTV. The company is thinking in terms of narrowcasting.

    David assured Mark that MTV's version of narrowcasting was pretty evident back then. The "Space Oddity" singer went on to ask Mark to explain why the few Black artists that are shown on MTV are only broadcasted in the wee hours of the morning.

    David Bowie during an MTV interview
    MTV

    Mark denied MTV segregating Black artists from the primetime slots.

    And if you thought he was finished putting MTV on blast, think again — honey, David was just getting started!

    MTV

    David applied more pressure by supplying Mark with some receipts, just in case MTV wasn't familiar with the amazing talent that was out at the moment.

    David told Mark:

    There's one Black station that I keep picking up and there seems to be a lot of Black artists making very good videos, that I'm surprised aren't on MTV.

    Mark replied, "Well, of course, also we have to try and do what we think, not only New York and Los Angeles will appreciate, but also Poughkeepsie or Midwest — pick some town in the Midwest that would be scared to death of Prince, which we're playing...or a string of other Black faces."

    David Bowie during an MTV interview
    MTV

    Fun Fact: Prince is from the Midwest. He's also one of the first Black artists to be featured on MTV. Grace Jones was the first to have a video show on the platform in 1981, but Michael Jackson was the first Black artist to have a video play in heavy rotation on the network with his hit song "Billie Jean" on March 10, 1983.

    Mark went on to question if playing the Isley Brothers would mean anything to their younger audience (preferably white teenagers). David countered that argument by telling him that it would mean a lot to Black teenagers.

    David Bowie during an MTV interview
    MTV

    "I'll tell you what the Isley Brothers and Marvin Gaye means to a Black 17-year-old, and surely he's part of America as well, isn't he?"

    This point struck a chord with me, because not only was he exposing racism on a major network on national TV, but he also highlighted how the "face of America" was and continues to be viewed under a white lens.

    ABC

    By this point in the interview, you can tell David wasn't buying whatever Mark was selling, so please enjoy the multiple facial expressions that David blessed us with as the conversation continued

    MTV

    It's the Cheshire cat smile for me!

    Even the video producer noticed...so much so that they decided to zoom in on him!

    David Bowie during an MTV interview
    MTV

    By the end of the interview, all David could say is, "Interesting. Thank you very much."

    David Bowie during an MTV interview
    MTV

    *Insert "everything is fine" burning house meme*

    It seems like the only person who couldn't read his facial expressions was Mark, who concluded the interview by asking, "Does that make sense? A valid point?"

    MTV

    David laughed it off and replied, "I understand your point of view."

    After watching the clip, people across Twitter couldn't help but applaud David Bowie for using his position and privilege to address a serious issue that still plagues America today.

    It’s so Important to know the HISTORY of Our Black LEGENDS & All they endured...We must RESPECT them for the doors they had to kick down for us to walk through🙏🏾Bigup David Bowie for addressing this🙌🏾💜RIP🕊 https://t.co/VYeObSJbtV

    Twitter: @MissyElliott

    The hilarious thing about this is that you can have the exact same conversation right now in media & hear the exact same excuses. And by hilarious I mean if you don't laugh you'll weep endlessly https://t.co/WE1l0NiUkM

    Twitter: @Karnythia

    This clip is not going to make any sense to Gen Z, raised in a world without a single cultural authority like MTV was back then, decided by a room of white dudes trying to figure out what would be safe for white America to see/hear. https://t.co/UOXLn5M4Ej

    Twitter: @alexisohanian

    This short video is one of the 7,893 reasons David Bowie was not only a great artist but a protector of other artists. Here he stands up in 1983 and points out a simple fact: MTV was hardly showing videos from Black music artists. https://t.co/QjTSuaqVOw

    Twitter: @donwinslow

    Apparently nobody at MTV was aware of actual Black people who lived in the midwest. https://t.co/18t0jhAsgz

    Twitter: @soledadobrien

    You just gotta love David Bowie and the audacity of this other dude saying that people in the Midwest would be afraid of seeing Prince on their TV. Whew... As someone who has worked in both radio and healthcare, I can say that racism runs deep in both... it's the American way. https://t.co/tvnbSdE5si

    Twitter: @Fear2Maro

    Never forget that David Bowie checked the F outta MTV for their racial BS.. THANKS Dave! Respect https://t.co/dXElr8Qtni

    Twitter: @FINALLEVEL

    To watch David Bowie and all his greatness, be sure to check out the full video.

    View this video on YouTube

    MTV

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