Every so often, David Bowie‘s 1983 interview with Mark Goodman resurfaces on social media — particularly, the clip in which Bowie notes the dearth of Black artists being played on the station at the time. It’s pretty well-known music history by now; early in MTV’s history, the station chose not to play videos by Black artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, or Run-DMC, despite their popularity and obvious influence on the sorts of artists MTV did play. It’s also a complaint that resurfaces every so often, such as in the aftermath of this year’s VMAs.
Only under widespread public pressure did MTV finally relent, playing the sort of artists that obviously came to define its pop-culture dominance throughout the ’90s and early 2000s. In this particular clip, Bowie points out to Goodman, “I’m just floored by the fact that there are so few Black artists featured [on MTV]. Why is that?” Throughout the discussion, Goodman waffles a bit, trying to argue that different viewers glean different perceptions of the coverage, but Bowie remains steadfast in bringing his point back. Noting that he has been observing a “Black station” (likely BET), he notes that “there seems to be a lot of Black artists making very good videos that I’m surprised aren’t used on MTV.”
The clip in question has popped up again courtesy of NBA player turned Twitter star, Rex Chapman, who tweeted the clip with his own observation tying it to current events. “Watching the Nikole Hannah-Jones/Chuck Todd interview it’s impossible to not think about the 1993 David Bowie/Mark Goodman MTV interview [on Meet The Press regarding ‘critical race theory’ bans in schools],” he wrote. “Same thing almost 30-years later. Why is it always ‘what’s acceptable to white people’??
Watching the Nikole Hannah-Jones/Chuck Todd interview it’s impossible to not think about the 1993 David Bowie/Mark Goodman MTV interview.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 26, 2021
The tweet won the approval of Ice-T, who retweeted it, garnering nearly 4,000 shares and well over 33,000 likes.
A lotta people may NOT know that David Bowie put MTV on blast back in the day for NOT playin Black artists.. He side stepped the double talk… Bowie was a REAL ONE. 👊 https://t.co/c5ShmKgqN1
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) December 26, 2021
You can check out the clip above and the full interview here.