MTV Airs Ferguson PSAs During the VMAs: Watch Now

Categories: Michael Brown

mtvvmapsa.jpg
Screengrab via MTV.
On Sunday, during its 31st annual Video Music Awards, MTV aired two fifteen-second public-service announcements inspired by the shooting of unarmed teen Mike Brown and the unrest in his hometown of Ferguson that has followed in the weeks since.

The PSAs are a part of a campaign called Look Different, led by MTV in partnership with the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of La Raza.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

The first of the two videos features seven young people, faced with stereotypes about their individual races, shot in black and white. Questions such as: "Pretty for a dark girl?" and "Can't tell Asians apart?" and "Not like other black dudes?" echo in the minds of those on screen as glass shatters across their faces. The video ends with the words, "Look, listen, change" displayed onscreen.

The second video features a quote from author James Baldwin, known for his work exploring the tensions that arise in Western societies, particularly mid-twentieth-century America, around racial, sexual and class distinctions.

Over a black-and-white backdrop, a simple shot of a Ferguson town sign, reads, "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." As the words appear on screen, the familiar chant of "Hands up; don't shoot" rises slowly in volume.

Mike Brown's body was laid to rest at a funeral service yesterday afternoon.


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42 comments
Roy Johnson
Roy Johnson

PLEASE join my fb page to show your support for the attacked and vilified witch hunted officer. "JUSTICE FOR OFFICER DARREN WILSON ". THANK YOU, bless us all, peace.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Hey Michelle, don't rob any stores and you should be fine just like the rest of us.

BennyBob Northcutt
BennyBob Northcutt

Man fuck DAT yo the Jews were slaves and Hitler cooked a bunch so blacks quit whining. The Jews aren't all were so persecuted. They just kick rag head ass and don't take shit. So STFU and go smoke a blunt with stolen cigars ass munches

Michelle Plants
Michelle Plants

The fact that so many people see ferguson as a nuisance is exactly why coverage of the situation is necessary. As an American, a Black American my history has been dark from the moment my people stepped onto this land. And how dare you, the people who have continuously benefited from the injustice and inequality suffered by people of color, tell us when it's time to hang up the issue and "get over it". As selfishly tired as you may be of seeing the same subject being covered is so incomparable to how tired you should be at seeing people born and raised in this country still having to stand up and fight for their right to exist as equals. This is not a politics issue, for the desire for equality and a colorblind law is not rep. vs dem. it's not a race issue because if you are white and feel that your black neighbor deserves less that you that's called racism. This is an AMERICAN ISSUE because we are all brothers and sisters of the same red, white and blue, and if one of us is chained then none of us are free.

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

I am frankly stunned anyone still watches MTV....

Jeffrey Steven
Jeffrey Steven

It's just sad that a felon was shot attacking an officer and so many people think it's a tragedy.. The only tragedy Is how brainwashed so many people have become and are using this incident to forward their own personal agendas, and the fact the officer has togo through all of this. Stay strong Po Wilson.

Treneca Johnson
Treneca Johnson

Andrew G Fritschle r u sure US black ppl Fucked it up cuz all i c on Mtv is pregnant teen cacausians lol but i guess u need someone to blame we get blamed for everything anyways lol jackass smh

Michelle Plants
Michelle Plants

I apologize that we, your neighbors, are inconveniencing you as we stand to be treated equal in the "land of the free" built on the backs of the enslaved. As you probably understand the past 400+ years we have been in this country "disrupted" doesn't begin to cover the injustice we have faced at the hands of people who "just want to be able to go home" without having to look at the ugly truth of this nation

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Anything that makes us change for the better is good. Why do people run from looking inside ourselves? It is a good thing, a healthy thing to be self-aware.

Terry Lee
Terry Lee

I think MTV needs to stay out of politics!

Malena Smith
Malena Smith

"The blacks f---ed it all up?" Yet, on the majority of MTV's shows that have aired in the past few years, there have been little to no "blacks" as part of the casts. Also, the majority of the music videos that they air are from artists of other races... but "the blacks f---ed it all up." Your ignorance and utter racism is laughable. The world will be a much better place when this level of racist idiocy dies out.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

I heard some gay black guy got fired yesterday. Maybe you can complain about that, RFT? Start a march or a rally? Accuse some people of bigotry or something? Surely there's a straight white male you can blame somewhere.

Suzy Midyett
Suzy Midyett

Not following anymore Laurie Wichmann Dore

Rachel Duncan
Rachel Duncan

You can easily un friend them and your problems will be solved. Or you can go to their actual website and not just rely on their facebook posts.

Chris Richardson
Chris Richardson

I wish the RFT would quit writing about this liberal bullshit and just fucking tell me what cool festival or event is going on in the STL each weekend. Fuck, find new material!!!!!!

Megan Manns
Megan Manns

It is incredibly sad to read some of the comments involving this tragedy. People just want to forget and pretend it never happened. Turning away or trying to sweep it under the rug of our vapid selfie obsessed society is not going to work. There must be a continuing dialog about Michael Brown and Ferguson. Ignoring it and giving excuses for blatant disrespect and racism is shameful and cowardly.

Carrie Daugherty
Carrie Daugherty

how bout doin an article on how us residents are sick of our lives being disrupted & just want to be able to go home without having to take a detour because the police have closed the streets.

Heather Feather-Head Nash
Heather Feather-Head Nash

It is so sad that so many Americans are missing the point because they are stuck in the details and not interested in big picture. I appreciate this article. Those PSAs were cool.

Susie Taylor Basler
Susie Taylor Basler

I'm glad that this is not being brushed under the rug, as these shootings usually are.

Suzy Midyett
Suzy Midyett

I don't know about everyone else but I'm getting tired of seeing this ferguson crap on every RFT post .....you just keep stirring the pot. This is St. Louis and it's Labor Day weekend isn't there something else to write about??

David Lakine
David Lakine

Oh I must have missed that....thanks RFT!!!!!

Jeffrey Vollmer
Jeffrey Vollmer

The top chess players in the world are playing in St Louis at this moment

Rebecca Klug
Rebecca Klug

There has to more news in the riverfront than this. Come on, you can do better. Stl is a pretty big place with lots go ing on this weekend and in the future. Get out there and do some real reporting.

Rj Hub
Rj Hub

and the PSA for all the hundreds dead in Chicago, Detroit, DC, etc.???!!! what about those mothers/fathers crying for their children? so ridiculous. fame whores.

ShantelBrown
ShantelBrown

I think they should show Micheal Brown video of him bitch grabbin' and robbing the Quickiemart clerk. Put it to Micheal Browns' own violent rap lyrics.

Too close to the truth for the MTV agenda ?

Aaron Darnell
Aaron Darnell

Suge Knight. Can't argue something that ones do to themselves

Chris Richardson
Chris Richardson

Anyone who takes MTV seriously should have their voting privileges revoked.

ShiniquaJefferson
ShiniquaJefferson

Gibsmedat MF, or this gentle giant gonna break yo face, sez Michael

Can i get some Tugs for da' thugs ? Yo.

Hands up Don't Shoot , later sez Dorian The Hood 

Now, He be gettin slice of the 200 million dollar pie


Whatcha ya gonna do when the story don't fit the facts

Blame it on whitey, blame it on whitey.

What's the real truth ?, Say ya don't care cause ya' gonna

Blame it on whitey, blame it on whitey


It be time to loot some tires, tennis shoes, and tacos

Let's Blame it on whitey.

Blame it on whitey





Terry L. Black
Terry L. Black

But didn't the VMA'S HAVE a shooting also. So maybe you should take care of your own affairs before getting involved in place's you an things that don't concern them

Lynn Croxton
Lynn Croxton

Those PSAs are very good. Tasteful yet effective.

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