[Not single-page] How the album bridged a racial divide on MTV and radio in the early 1980s:

“Despite the obvious quality of the Jackson videos, MTV initially resisted playing them, claiming it was a rock station and Jackson didn’t fit the format. There is to this day some disagreement as to what led the channel to change its policy and add ‘Billie Jean.’ At the time, a story was widely circulated that CBS chief Walter Yetnikoff resorted to threatening to pull all of his label’s videos off the channel if MTV didn’t play ‘Billie Jean,’ but this claim has been refuted over the years by original MTV honchos Bob Pittman and Les Garland. They concede that the channel initially assumed it would not play the video, as its thumping beat and urban production did not fit the channel’s ‘rock’ image. They contend however that in mid-February, after seeing the clip–which was possibly the best that had ever come across their desks–they began to re-think things. Coupled with the fact that even without MTV, the song had just leaped in one week from No. 23 to No. 6 on the Hot 100, the MTV execs concluded they should give it a shot.”