On This Day, in 1991, Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video premiered on FOX TV
The King of Pop left us abruptly, but his presence can always be felt especially when you are watching the talent shows that have at least one moonwalker in them. However, what they do not realise is that all the cheering and hooting that follows their performance is not to their credit; instead, it is a celebration of the man that was Michael Jackson.
So, what brings us here today? Well, there was a song he composed called “Black or White” which created a sensation during its time and proudly lingers on today. Yet, while you can get on to YouTube anytime to listen to it and you often get to hear it on VH1; let me remind you, once upon a time this song had a premiere release on FOX TV, which obviously had an entire generation awestruck. That day was today, twenty one years back.
Those of you who have heard it are well aware of the social message that Jackson offers through the lyrics. The lyrics of this number are a plea for racial tolerance. However, let us discuss the video; in fact, Jackson has been known for hiring the best from Hollywood to do justice to his songs. This one too, made use of a very cool morphing technique that was very innovative at that time. If you watch the morphing part carefully, you may be surprised to see Tyra Banks posing as one of the models; well, back then she hadn’t achieved star status.
While the moralists swooned at the crotch grabs, a cheeky step synonymous with Jackson, the modernists reached out to pat him, for in the video he tried to terminate all things racist. Nevertheless, not much would have been achieved without the directorial efforts of John Landis; he knew how to set the stage for Jackson to elaborate his talent.