MTV to Discuss Race on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Artist and activist Common shares his perspective on race as part of MTV's #TheTalk
Artist and activist Common shares his perspective on race as part of MTV’s #TheTalk

Leading youth entertainment brand MTV has announced an expansion of its Look Different anti-bias campaign called #TheTalk. It is a multiscreen effort to encourage its audience to have candid, confident and “color brave” conversations on race with family and friends.

According to a 2014 MTV study, 73% of Millennials believe having more open constructive conversations about bias would help people become less prejudiced.

“Millennials believe strongly in fairness, but they can also find it difficult to talk openly about race – to be not simply ‘color blind’ but ‘color brave,’” said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV. “Our audience is looking for a way to bring the national conversation on race into their homes and this campaign will give them a forum to express true color bravery.”

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#TheTalk will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET/PT on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when MTV will kick off a 12-hour period in which all programming will air in black and white for the first time in the network’s history.

Every commercial block will begin with personal reflections on race from luminaries including Kendrick Lamar, Common, Big Sean, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Penn Badgley, Jordin Sparks, Pete Wentz, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. John Lewis, Sen. Cory Booker and more.

On-air creative on MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits, MTV Jams and an editorial push across MTV’s online, mobile and social platforms will encourage audience members to share their own reflections using the #thetalk and get involved through the Look Different website. MTV will share many of the audience contributions on-air and online.

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Rakesh Raman