Talking Heads’ David Byrne Issues Apology For Blackface-Style Make Up In 1984

Advertisement

via @Film at Lincoln Center | YouTube

Advertisement
Advertisement

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne issued a lengthy apology Tuesday for wearing the black and brown face in a decades-old video for the rock band.

Byrne appeared in racist makeup in The Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film “Stop Making Sense,” in which he interviews several different people while wearing his iconic “oversized suit.”

Advertisement

In a series of tweets, he said a journalist recently brought up the controversial video, which he had almost forgotten about.

“Recently a journalist pointed out something I did in a promo video skit in 1984 for the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense,” the rocker explained. “In the piece I appear as a number of different characters interviewing myself, and some of the characters portrayed are people of color.”

The Scottish-born singer said that people, including himself, have “huge blind spots.”

Though Byrne realized he’d “just about forgotten about this skit,” he declared he was “grateful” to have it brought to his awareness.

“To watch myself in the various characters, including black and brown face, I acknowledge it was a major mistake in judgment that showed a lack of real understanding. It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else – you’re not, or were not, the person you thought you were.”