Jackson Protest Misses the Point 
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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Wednesday, 10 July 2002

Someone forgot to tell Michael Jackson that no one is “invincible” like his last album title implies. Once crowned the King of Pop, Michael Jackson has now teamed up with the controversial Reverend Al Sharpton to protest the treatment of black artists by the music industry especially Jackson’s label, Sony Music.

Sharpton and his National Action Network organized the event which Jackson reportedly arrived at in a double-decker bus adorned with posters maligning Sony Music President, Tommy Mottola. Jackson is quoted as saying “when you fight for me, you are fighting for black people, dead and alive.” This is from the same Michael Jackson that set the historical standard for how large a record contract can be.

Michael Jackson’s actions may have earned him the “Musical Wacko of the Year” award for 2002, which is should be presented by last year’s winner Mariah Carey (ironically, Sony President Tommy Mottola’s Ex-Wife). If there are merits to the argument that labels are mistreating black artists, a fading Michael Jackson, a poorly respected Al Sharpton and 350 protesters didn’t make the needed point. The reality is Michael Jackson sadly doesn’t write the same kind of hit records in 2002 as he did in 1984. Moreover, record companies would sign and vigorously promote a band full of Al Queda terrorists if they thought they could Soundscan more records than Eminem or ‘N Sync. It isn’t about race or actual talent as much is it about money for the music companies. And if Jackson was really to make a change for treatment of black artists, he should have rallied some more mainstream artists and musical allies like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz and others to add more credibility to his message.

Sources: Yahoo.com, KROQ

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