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David Bowie Made This Perfect Point about Racism in Music Back in 1983

David Bowie was always ahead of his time, as shown in a video clip from 1983 where he calls out MTV for “not playing black artists.”

In the interview, unearthed by, Bowie compliments MTV as a “solid enterprise” but then says “I’m just floored by the fact that there are so few black artists featured on MTV.  Why is that?”

When the interviewer tells Bowie that MTV is trying to reach a target audience, Bowie quips “Well, that’s evident in the fact that the only few black artists that one does see are on at about 2:30 in the morning to around six.  Very few are featured predominantly during the day.  There seem to be a lot of black artists making very good music videos that I’m surprised aren’t on MTV.”

When the interviewer tries to say that middle America would “be scared to death” of artists like Prince or a “string of other black faces” Bowie coldly replies “Isn’t that interesting.”

If you remember early MTV, do you think it was racist?  Do you think MTV is racist now?  Does it exploit black culture?

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