Billie Jean airs on MTV
‘Billie Jean’ became the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation on MTV. The channel initially refused to air the video and so Walter Yetnikoff, the president of CBS Records, threatened to pull all their music videos from MTV unless they played Michael. He told MTV he was going to go public with the “fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy”. After the video was aired in heavy rotation, Thriller went on to sell an additional 10 million copies.