David Byrne Tweets Apology For Use Of Blackface In ‘Stop Making Sense’ Promo
David Byrne took to Twitter earlier today to issue an apology for wearing blackface in a promotional video from 1984. In the clip, Byrne dresses as multiple characters to interview himself to promote the concert film Stop Making Sense.
The former Talking Heads frontman was asked about the promotional video by a journalist recently. “We have huge blind spots about ourselves- well, I certainly do. I’d like to think I am beyond making mistakes like this, but clearly at the time I was not,” Byrne wrote as part of a series of tweets. “Like I say at the end of our Broadway show American Utopia ‘I need to change too’..and I believe I have changed since then.”
Read the full text of Byrne’s thread from his @DBtodomundo Twitter account:
Recently a journalist pointed out something I did in a promo video skit in 1984 for the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. In the piece I appear as a number of different characters interviewing myself, and some of the characters portrayed are people of color.
We have huge blind spots about ourselves- well, I certainly do. I’d like to think I am beyond making mistakes like this, but clearly at the time I was not. Like I say at the end of our Broadway show American Utopia “I need to change too”..and I believe I have changed since then.
One hopes that folks have the grace and understanding to allow that someone like me, anyone really, can grow and change, and that the past can be examined with honesty and accountability.
The video for which Byrne apologizes for can be viewed below: