MTV to Air in Black and White for the First Time in Network History on Martin …

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Common Discusses Race Relations with MTV for Martin Luther King Day (VIDEO).

MTV will air in black and white for twelve hours on Martin Luther King Jr. “Our aim is to jar audiences into having what we’re calling ‘The Talk’ – candid, confident and ‘color brave’ conversations on race and bias,” a MTV rep tells PEOPLE.

Throughout the day, every commercial block will begin with personal reflections on race from familiar faces including Selma director Ava DuVernay, the film’s star David Oyelowo, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean, singer Jordin Sparks, rocker Pete Wentz, Sen. The broadcast event is the latest initiative to come out of MTV’s Look Different anti-bias campaign, which promotes dialogue about race, gender and sexuality.

While a recent survey that MTV conducted concluded that 73 percent of people in the age range of 14 to 24 believe that there should be more open conversations about bias and race, according to the same survey, only 10 percent of people in that age group have had all that many open conversations about the topic. The campaign partnered with NAACP and other civil rights groups last summer to create commercials after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Cory Booker and more. “America and race relations – we have to acknowledge it,” Common says in the video. “I think everybody overall wants the same results and that’s a better place, a place where everybody can just connect and not worry about like what color this person is or what their religion is.” “MLK today means hope. … He means love,” Common continues. “He means a human being that has shown us that we can not only be heroes but that we are people an we can do great things.” The project also aired a special segment called Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, in which the Orange Is the New Black actress took viewers inside the lives of transgender youth.

Lewis, one of the student leaders working with King, suffered a skull fracture when Alabama state troopers, sheriff deputies and possemen wielding bullwhips, clubs and tear gas advanced on the marchers on the outskirts of Selma. “We thought what better day than MLK Day to really use, not only the history and the power of what Dr. King said with the “I Have a Dream” speech, but hear it from artists, political leaders and the audience to really spark a national conversation,” Friedman said. Especially, Friedman says, when viewers will be encouraged to start these conversations after watching segments of Cory Booker discussing how race has affected his ability to date, Kendrick Lamar talking about his conversations with his father on prejudice or listening to David Oyelowo talking about the bias he confronts every day by being in an interracial marriage. “We hope it will be a stark and eye-opening moment to understand on one level how far we’ve come, but also to hear from national figures how much things have not changed and how far we need to go,” Friedman said. “I think the audience will be surprised.”

By having celebrities talk about their own experiences and also with youth and politicians during the 12 hours, the music network hopes that more friends and family members will talk about racial issues and sexual and transgender ones, as well.

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