In an interview with MTV’s Mark Goodman, back in 1983, David Bowie has some questions and criticisms about the channel’s lack of videos featuring black artists.
“Having watched MTV over the past few months, it’s a solid enterprise with a lot going for it,” Bowie said. “I’m just floored that by the fact that there’s so few black artists featured on it. Why is that?”
This put Goodman in a pretty awkward position, and he attempted to defend his employers. “I think we’re trying to move in that direction,” he said. “We want to play artists that seem to be doing music that fits into what we want to play on MTV. The company is thinking in terms of narrow-casting.” This half-hearted response did little to address Bowie’s points. “The only few black artists one does see are on in about 2:30 in the morning until 6:00,” Bowie said. “Very few are featured prominently during the day. I’ll see that over the last couple of weeks things have been changing, but it’s been a slow process.”