Monday, MTV is turning off the color and broadcasting in black and white. The network will air a 12-hour block of programming without color, kicking off a social media campaign called, #TheTalk to discuss race in America on Martin Luther King Jr Day. According to MTV’s press release:
#TheTalk is part of a broader MTV initiative, the anti-bias campaign Look Different, which launched last April. The programming is designed to encourage MTV’s audience to have candid, confident and ‘color brave’ conversations on race with family and friends.
To get viewers to have a dialog on #TheTalk regarding racial issues in America and how to improve them, every commercial block will feature a political and pop culture figure to discuss their own take on race relations. The special will include, Sen. Cory Booker, Common, Lee Daniels, Ava DuVernay, Kendrick Lamar, Rep. John Lewis, David Oyelowo, Big Sean and others. MTV President Stephen Friedman told The Huffington Post the idea behind the project is to explore how far race relations have come and where they need to be. Friedman stated:
Underlying some of the blindness around bias and prejudice is a lack of understanding of the history – of why we are where we are today. That’s why Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is so critical. It’s a day when we’re immersed in the history and his great legacy, and we can look back at how far we’ve come and, very importantly, look ahead at how far we still need to go.
#TheTalk begins at 9 AM EST on MTV.