Michael Jackson Ignites Furor With Anti-Semitic Remark
Self-styled “King of Pop” star Michael Jackson may have beat it out of the United States to live in Bahrain after being found not guilty of child molestation charges but ANOTHER self-created controversy has now placed him smack in the middle of a public relations debacle: anti-Semitic remarks, sparking calls from Jewish groups for an apology.
This new controversy will likely get great play in newspapers and broadcast outlets due to: (1) Jackson’s role as someone who has (in the past at least) enjoyed a following among impressionable young people (a following that is way down from past years) and (2) his reported hopes to revive his limp pop singer career which now makes his self-proclaimed label “King of Pop” a phrase sparking the sarcastic reply: “Yeah, right…”
This latest controversy (which we alluded to in the short post below) will likely be the final nail in Jackson’s professional coffin, in the United States at least. He still enjoys great popularity in Europe and in the Middle East and his comments won’t hurt him there (and could help him in some Middle East countries). But in the U.S? His future recordings (if he makes them) will be DOA:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Anti-Defamation League demanded an apology from pop star Michael Jackson after a report he referred to Jews as “leeches” in a telephone message to a former business adviser.
“Michael Jackson has an anti-Semitic streak, and hasn’t learned from his past mistakes. It seems every time he has a problem in his life, he blames it on Jews,” Abraham Foxman, the group’s national director, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The ADL statement cited tapes of a 2003 voice mail message aired on Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in which Jackson was heard saying: “They suck … . They’re like leeches. … I’m so tired of it. … It is a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.”
ABC News said it obtained the messages placed by Jackson to a former adviser who has filed a lawsuit against the singer.
The ADL castigated Jackson in 1995 over lyrics in his song “They Don’t Care About Us”: “Jew Me, sue me, everybody do me. Kick me, kike me.” The pop icon apologized and changed the lyrics.
What happened after that controversy? The BBC:
The singer apologised, saying he had intended to demonstrate the hatefulness of racism. He subsequently changed the offending lyrics.
“We had hoped that Jackson would have learned from his mistakes,” continued Mr Foxman.
“It is clear now that he never was able to completely remove the bigotry from his own heart.”
A transcript provided by King’s office quotes Jackson as saying: “They suck them like leeches. … They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars and everything and end up penniless. It’s a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.”
Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said Wednesday the singer had no comment. A call to Jackson’s attorney Thomas Mesereau was not immediately returned.
The message was among about a dozen released by attorney Howard King, who represents Wiesner and another former adviser who are locked in business disputes with the pop star and are suing him for millions. King said he released the messages to keep Jackson from appearing sympathetic in court.
Ynetnews (Israel) puts it this way:
Michael Jackson may be fond of children, but he is apparently not very fond of Jews, according to an audiotape aired Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show.
The audiotape contains a message allegedly recorded by Jackson two years ago on the voice mail of his former adviser Dieter Wiesner.
Curlio.com music news gives this persepective:
Oy! I think Michael Jackson’s lawyers are tired of the lawsuits that they have to tackle on behalf of their client. On Wednesday, The Anti-Defamation League demanded that Michael Jackson apologize for allegedly calling Jews, “Leeches” in a private telephone message that was recorded two years ago, the message has now surfaced in connection with a lawsuit against Jackson…..
….King added that only portions of the messages about Jews were aired on Good Morning America, but the edited version did not change anything. He stated that the rant was about his trusted advisor, who happened to be Jewish and who was ultimately fired. He declined revealing the name of the advisor in question.
To cut the long story short, it is all about money. Seriously – Controversy, Thy Other Name is Michael Jackson!
We might add after reading the taped comments:
The King of Pop might more accuratedly be called The King of Pap.
UPDATE: For those fascinated by Michael Jackson (whose public relations history resembles a car wreck) a MUST-READ is this MSNBC article about Access Hollywood’s interview with Court TV’s Diane Dimond’s about her new book on Jackson…contending he actually has a deep voice…and about the alleged collection of artificial noses, wigs, etc…in his house.
UPDATE II: A reader in our comments section gives us what appears to be a response from Jackson’s spokesperson:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Raymone K. Bain
November 23, 2005
Michael Jackson does not have a racist bone in his body. NEVER would he say anything, or do anything, that would be offensive to any ethnic group, or hurtful to any ethnic group. It is not in his character, or his being. He has spent his entire life reaching out to people throughout the world by spreading love through his music, and his philanthropic efforts.
It is unfortunate that these tapes are being disseminated throughout the airways without ny “due deligence” with regards to the authenticity. However, Mr. Mesereau is representing Mr. Jackson in this matter and the truth will be revealed.
Because this is an on-going legal matter, we are not issuing any statements at this time.
So in addition to the controversy over the tapes, there will now be a controversy over the controversy over the tapes.