Culture

David Byrne Apologises For Donning Blackface In ‘Stop Making Sense’ Concert Film

David Byrne Apologises For Donning Blackface In ‘Stop Making Sense’ Concert Film”

As promotion for Talking Heads' 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, David Byrne had a video filmed where he interviewed himself, playing a wide variety of characters.

The offensive clips were culled from a commercial in support of Stop Making Sense, a concert film documenting the band behind hits such as Burning Down the House, Psycho Killer and Once in a Lifetime.

After the clip resurfaced on social media, Byrne issued a statement expressing his regret and dismay.

David Byrne has apologized for using black and brown face in a 1984 promotional skit.

"To observe myself in the many characters, which includes black and brown experience, I accept it was a main error in judgement that showed a absence of true understanding", Byrne writes. "It's like seeking in a mirror and looking at a person else- you are not, or were being not, the particular person you assumed you had been".

Byrne noted that the genesis for the apology came after a journalist recently asked him about the decades-old video.

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"We have huge blind spots about ourselves- well, I certainly do".

Later this month, a Spike Lee-directed TV adaptation of American Utopia, David Byre's musical, will premiere at the virtual Toronto Film Festival.

In a recent piece in our From The Vault feature, we took a look back at one of the more freakish bits of promo you're ever likely to see as David Byrne interviewed himself, changing between roles and characters as he did.

Byrne concluded, "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". Like I say at the conclusion of our Broadway present American Utopia "I will need to adjust too".and I think I have changed due to the fact then.

Though Byrne admitted he'd "just about forgotten about this skit", he insisted he was "grateful" to have it brought to his attention. It's like wanting in a mirror and seeing another person else- you are not, or were being not, the particular person you assumed you ended up.



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