MTV To Air Network In Black In White

MTV on Monday will run a 12-hour block of its programming in black and white as part of a network anti-bias campaign, the network said Sunday.

Beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow , MTV will air 12 straight hours of its programming in black and white, with every commercial block beginning with personal reflections on race from such personalities as 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, said the network.

The move is part of the network’s multiscreen-based campaign #The Talk – an expansion of its Look Different anti-discrimination initiative – that encourages its audience to have a candid conversation on race with family and friends, said network officials.

 In addition, MTV’s online, mobile and social platforms will encourage audience members to share their own reflections using the #thetalk and get involved through its Look Different website,

MTV will share many of the audience contributions on-air and online.

“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 in a statement.  “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.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.