I love Bowie’s series of I-can’t-believe-you’re-giving-me-this-bullshit expressions as MTV representative Mark Goodman tries to explain, in a 1983 interview, why they don’t play more black artists and also totally are playing them and also black artists are scary and introducing black artists has to be done glacially slowly and anyway radio stations are worse:
MTV was doing what they thought the market wanted, and it wasn’t too many years until almost everything they were playing was hip hop.
If the market consisted only of white people.
I’m not sure I’d agree with the idea that whites would only want to watch videos with white musicians in them, even if that’s what MTV thought.
Indeed there turned out to be a massive white audience for black artists. My point was that MTV not only assumed that wasn’t true, but also talked as though the white audience was the only audience, by saying e.g. that 17-year-olds aren’t interested in black music, as though all 17-year-olds are white (as Bowie points out).
(Of course Goodman presumably had no control over policy; he was just reciting the corporate talking points he’d been given.)