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David Bowie once called out MTV for not playing black artists

January 12, 2016

“I’m just floored by the fact that there’s so few black artists featured on it. Why is that?”

Sad about saying so long to David Bowie? We are too. In addition to his lovely parting gift, the genre-melting music legend has left a pretty impressive legacy to sift through. Included in that mix? A marvellous slice of video from 1983 featuring Bowie politely yet firmly expressing his disappointment over the lack of black artists showcased on MTV.

Sitting down with VJ Mark Goodman, Bowie tells his interviewer that he believes MTV is a “solid enterprise,” but he’s baffled by the network’s failures in terms of black representation. Turning the tables on the host, he asks why black artists aren’t being played in regular rotation on the station. When he receives unsatisfactory answers from Goodman (talk about protecting the delicate sensibilities of the Midwest and being a rock station), Bowie pushes back with reasoned arguments why segregating the artist pool is a frightening and misguided practice.

[quote]”I’m just floored by the fact that there’s so few black artists featured on it. Why is that?” asks Bowie of his MTV appointed interviewer.[/quote]

It’s a remarkable piece of television history if you’d care to take a gander at it. What’s that? We have the interview tucked below? Splendid.

[h/t Vox]

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