113: Season Five Christmas Special

It’s that time of year when Jamon, Q and Elise come together to celebrate the holidays and reflect on the year that was…it’s The MJCast’s annual Christmas Special!

The team wraps up Season Five (a season filled-to-the-brim with major highs and lows) with discussion of developments in the world of Michael Jackson, including updates on the MJ biopic, the Estate’s 2020 MJ Broadway musical, as well as a bizarre and potentially very negative MJ-inspired musical told from the perspective of his glove, and much more. The MJCast Correspondents also chime in with news on charity efforts, Janet Jackson, the Jackson family, and more.

It’s been a whirlwind year, and a tough one for many in the worldwide Jackson fan community. And yet, as the trio revisits clips from Season Five Specials and reflects on the past year, it is clear that this has also been The MJCast’s best season ever, with incredible guests, and a real sense of love and community.

This is Q’s final episode as a regular host of The MJCast. Q has been integral to the identity of the show since its inception, and he will be missed. Jamon and Elise send their love and thanks for all of Q’s contributions as well as his friendship. And not to worry, listeners: Q will appear on The MJCast in the future, just less regularly. There will be Q-rants to come in 2020 and beyond!

This is Q’s final episode as a regular host of The MJCast. Q has been integral to the identity of the show since its inception, and he will be missed. Jamon and Elise send their love and thanks for all of Q’s contributions as well as his friendship. And not to worry, listeners: Q will appear on The MJCast in the future, just less regularly. There will be Q-rants to come in 2020 and beyond!

We want to thank our listeners for all your support throughout the year and hope that you enjoy our episodes coming up in Season 6! Happy holidays, #MJFam!

News
• A Michael Jackson biopic is reportedly in the works, from Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King.
• A very strange stage musical, For the Love of the Glove, supposedly based on Jackson’s life, is opening in Los Angeles in January.
• Ephraim Sykes has been cast in the MJ role for the upcoming Broadway show, “MJ: The Musical.” (Skykes’ recent interview in Rolling Stone.)
• The French MJ fan lawsuit against ‘Leaving Neverland’ has been postponed due to strikes.
• The Game recalls the time when Michael Jackson called him to work on a collaboration with 50 Cent.
• The MJ Estate settles with Disney over ‘The Last Days of Michael Jackson’.

Season Five Highlights
• Episode 097 – Bill Whitfield Special
• Episode 100 – Brad Buxer Special
Episode 101 – Taryll Jackson Special
Episode 103 – Vindication Day Special with Larry Nimmer
Episode 104 – June 25th Special with Jenny Winings
Episode 107 – Allan ‘Big Al’ Scanlan Special
Episode 109 – Michael Trapson Special
Episode 110 – Thriller Night Special with Paul Black and Adam Green

Main Discussion Topic
• A year in review.
• The MJCast’s official interview with Q, as he reflects on five seasons as co-host.
• What’s to come in Season 6.

Finds of the Week
• Jamon – New rehearsal footage from MJ’s 30th Anniversary concert.
• Q – ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ gets a brand new official video.
• Elise – MJ-inspired art by Miguel Wilson, including a very cool Thriller shirt available for sale.

Correspondent Appearances
Steven Hodges of MJFFC (Charity Correspondent)
Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source (Jackson family Correspondent)
Courtney and Kam of Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever podcast (Janet Jackson Correspondent)
Charles Thomson (Legal Correspondent)

Ads & Music Breaks
Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (Nick Party People Remix)
Michael Jackson – Another Part of Me (Regrooved Fire Remix)
Michael Jackson – BEATiCURE (The King of artPOP by Robin Skouteris)

Connect with Us
• TheMJCast.com
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Instagram
• YouTube

If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Michael On!

112: Oiling Lanes

The holidays are upon us, which means it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and an excellent time to hang out with MJ mates! In this regular episode, Q and Jamon have invited some of their friends on board for a good ol’ MJ fan hangout.

Marni Cochrane, Dane Thomson, Dr. Raj Zaman, and Bjørn Hannibal join the guys for a discussion about everyone’s fan stories, how they have coped through the events of this year, how Michael has impacted and changed their lives, and how they think Michael should be remembered.

What’s better than hanging out with MJ mates and sharing great MJ moments and memories? The MJCast hopes you enjoy this ultimate fan chat!

Participants
• Q
• Jamon
• Marni – Jamon’s long time MJ friend and Friend of the Show, who is a lifelong fan who became obsessed while watching the video for “The Way You Make Me Feel” in ’87. She got involved in the online MJ community in 2006, became a moderator on MJNO in 2007, and created Max Jax in 2008 with 5 fans from the UK. She even won an award for “the official #1 Fan Australia of Michael Jackson” in 2008! Marni is always attending MJ events and saw The Jacksons twice this past year, as well as seeing Janet Jackson once.
• Dane Thomson – Jamon’s recent MJ mate has been a Michael Jackson fan since the age of 4, and is now a musician and fellow whistleblower of the infamous “Cascio tracks”.
• Dr. Raj Zaman – Q’s local fan friend, who has been a lifelong MJ fan since watching a bootleg VHS copy of the “BAD Tour In Yokohama”. He is currently training to be a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon after being directly inspired by Michael’s humanitarian work to make a positive difference in the world.

Main Discussion Topic
• MJ mates, new and old hangout! Fan stories, coping with Leaving Neverland fallout, how MJ has inspired our lives, and reflections on how Michael should be remembered.

Finds of the Week
• Jamon – Michael Jackson MTV 1995 early rehearsals
• Q – Best Selling Music Artists 1969-2019
• Dane – @christophervg3 Instagram account
• Marni – CrowdDJ app,which lets you choose your favourite songs in your favourite places. Available in the Apple App Store, and Google Play Store.
• Raj – Godfrey videos on Michael Jackson. Here, here, here, here and here.
• Bjørn – Thriller x Kali Kali Aankhen, Swara Dance Bollywood Remix

Additional Links
• Marni’s Instagram
• Dane Thomson’s Instagram and Twitter
• Dr. Raj Zaman’s Instagram and Twitter
• Bjørn Hannibal’s Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and his I Magiens Fodspor podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Ad & Music Breaks
Dane Thomson – Smooth Criminal (Instrumental Acoustic Cover)
Michael Jackson – Take Me Back (Regrooved by Parker)
Dane Thomson – I’ll Be There (Instrumental Acoustic Cover)

Connect with Us
• 
TheMJCast.com
• 
Facebook
• 
Twitter
• 
Instagram
• 
YouTube

If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comKeep Michaeling!

111: It’s Not a Hangover

In this regular episode, Jamon and Q are joined by Friend of the Show Jason Garcia, co-host of MJRadio, the Spanish-language Michael Jackson podcast. It’s been a busy fall, and the trio has lots of news to discuss related to Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. The guys chat about an upcoming documentary focused on MJ’s artistic legacy, next summer’s launch of the official Michael Jackson musical, the Estate’s (misguided) release of a 10th Anniversary This Is It package, the HBO documentary about the Apollo Theatre, and more. For their main topic, Jamon and Q tell discuss seeing Janet Jackson live in Australia, and then have some big news to announce about changes at the The MJCast next season.

This episode also includes updates from The MJCast correspondents Charles Thomson (Legal Correspondent) and Janneke van der Linden (Jackson Family Correspondent).

Follow Up
• MJRadio
• Square One happened

News
• Another MJ documentary is on the way, this one focused on his artistic legacy.
• Elton John calls Michael Jackson ‘mentally ill’ and a ‘disturbing person’ in his new book.
• Lil Kim sort-of samples MJ in her new single.
• The official Michael Jackson musical has a new name (“MJ The Musical”) and will open July 6th at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York.
• The Michael Jackson Estate and Sony Music release their first product since Leaving Neverland, a 10th anniversary edition of This Is It.
• Michael Jackson was, yet again, the top earning dead celebrity of 2019.
• HBO’s “The Apollo” documentary excludes the Jackson 5 as a significant part of the venue’s history.

Main Discussion Topic
• Q and Jamon’s Janet experiences!
• Next steps for The MJCast.

Additional Links
• MJRadio on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Ad & Music Breaks
• The Jacksons – Your Ways (Groovefunkel Remix)
• Janet Jackson – Escapade (Nick* Maui Sunset Mix)
• Michael Jackson – Beat It (Mute Mutant Remix)

Correspondent Appearances
• Charles Thomson (Legal Correspondent)
• Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source (Jackson Family Correspondent)

Connect with Us
• TheMJCast.com
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Instagram
• YouTube

If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comStay BAD!

Theater Review: “Never Ever Land” Explores the Michael Jackson Allegations Through a Problematic Lens

On October 27, 2019, in Los Angeles, I attended the final performance of the world premiere staging of the play “Never Ever Land”, written by Rider Strong, directed by Michael A. Shepperd, and produced by Andrew Carlberg. Several Michael Jackson fan community members were in attendance, including Charles Thomson (investigative reporter and Legal Correspondent for The MJCast), Angela Kande, “Square One” documentary creator Danny Wu, and others.

In the play’s press release, it is described as offering “a new perspective on one of the most notorious trials of all time, as well as our culture’s obsession with celebrity.” I was compelled by this, and very curious about how they would approach this issue, and what stance they would take regarding Michael Jackson.

While the play is based on the 1993 Jackson allegations, and the characters are representative of the members of the Chandler family, I want to emphasize that this is a fictional storyline. The facts about the family and the sequence of events are intentionally distorted. This is done, I assume, for the sake of artistic freedom, and perhaps also as protection from criticisms around accuracy–or lawsuits. And also because, ultimately, this play is not truly about Michael Jackson. (Except that it is also completely about him. I will explain my problems with this contradiction later.)

The show is, according to promotional materials, about the lasting effects on one family who has been “seduced by fame and greed”. Michael Jackson’s name is not uttered once through the entire production, though all transitional scenes use slightly warped, MIDI-style versions of Jackson songs, and he is referred to as “the White Whale” several times.

Looking at this play purely from a production standpoint, it has some merits: I found the acting to be powerful, and there was something compelling about the idea of a long-term implosion of family and identity because of the choices of the parents. However, I did not find the characters particularly sympathetic, even as the audience is supposed to connect with the trauma of the adult-version of the character based on Jordan Chandler, named here “Jacob Gable”.

The story alternates between two parallel timelines: We are taken back and forth between the ‘90s and a contemporary storyline set in 2012. I felt hopeful during the first half of the production, which focuses on how the parents fall into the world of celebrity. While they are pushing one son, “Tim”, to be in commercials and criticizing him for being overweight, they are pushing the other, “Jacob”, to secure a friendship with the unnamed, famous entertainer who never had a childhood. The mother is also trying to establish her own acting career, while the controlling, heavy-drinking, rage-filled dentist father is peddling his screenplay.

Opening the play, and woven throughout it, is the 2012 story about the adult Tim, who is trying to get a job with a tabloid journalism company, which is based on TMZ. He claims that he has absolute proof that his brother lied about the allegations. As a Jackson fan, this is, of course, attention-grabbing. It seemed that the play was moving in the direction of casting doubt on the allegations as a whole.

However, the second half of the play takes a very different turn. It veers from the allegations (and avoids making any statement at all about them, which will frustrate most fans) and puts complete focus on how the family has been damaged. It becomes clear that Tim is selling his brother’s secrets as a means to have a career and, finally, a life of his own. Jacob, the character based on Jordan Chandler, clearly has massive personal problems as an adult, but the play leaves the audience in the dark about the source of his trauma. And, ultimately, Tim reveals that there may not be any deep, dark secret, after all.

Naturally, I wanted to understand the production’s stance on the allegations. That was not to be. And I can accept that. Art is, after all, about exploring ideas, evoking emotion, and encouraging discussion. It is certainly not obligated to give its audience a clear answer or opinion on any particular topic. That said, I felt abandoned by the second half of the play, and left adrift, with no real understanding of what I should be taking away from the story, especially after the high-stakes set-up in the first half. Perhaps if I had connected more with the characters, it would have been more effective. In that scenario, I can envision an ending in which I would have understood the legacy of damage set off by greedy parents and bad decisions, and could have even accepted that the production chooses to leave its representation of the allegations so ambiguous. Yet, as is, the story fizzles into nothing, and seems to lose its purpose.

But here are my two primary problems with the play:

(1) I dislike the fact that this production directly exploits Michael Jackson, using his traumatic experience for its own gains, while simultaneously refusing to comment on that situation. I simply don’t think that is right. The playwright, Rider Strong, states that this is “the story of how one family was seduced by fame and greed”—but what does that mean, in this context? What is Strong really trying to say here? Ultimately, this just feels like Jackson being used all over again.

(2) Playwright Strong also comments: “I wondered what it’s like to be known as the victim in a ridiculously famous lawsuit, especially if most people think you lied.” Common, mainstream (and uninformed) perception is that Michael Jackson settled in the ‘90s because he was guilty. Where is this idea coming from that most people think that Chandler lied? And does this mean that the underlying message of the play is really that Jackson was guilty, and the Chandler was, essentially, a double-victim? I’m left perplexed by this, and uncomfortable.

In the end, the simple truth is that I don’t know what to make of this play. It acts as if it wants to make a big statement, without making that statement. Really, I feel that this production is about the playwright’s own childhood. Strong was a child star in the ‘90s, best known for his role on “Boy Meets World”. I completely understand that he would want to explore the effects of that warped coming-of-age experience. That makes sense. But using Jackson as a vehicle is not appropriate or merited, in my view. It adds to the exact problem Strong claims he is addressing. And that simply feels wrong.

This world premiere run of “Never Ever Land” has ended, but you can learn more, including information about possible future performances here.

Article by Elise Capron.

110: Thriller Night Special with Paul Black and Adam Green

Happy Thriller Night 2019! It’s the podcast team’s favorite night of the year, and, in this special episode, Q leads a deep dive discussion into Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Ghosts” short films. He’s joined by regular guest and film editor Paul Black, as well as first-time guest Adam Green, who is a well-known filmmaker, podcaster, and expert on the horror genre.

The guys discuss Paul and Adam’s professional backgrounds in the film world and how Jackson inspired aspects of their careers, as well as their memories of first seeing “Thriller” and “Ghosts”. Paul Black wins, as usual, for having the best “Ghosts” fan story ever! Their main discussion topic examines these two iconic short films from a filmmaking perspective: Paul and Adam compare filming techniques, cinematography, special effects, the different tone of each film, horror genre elements, what sort of impact they might have if they had been made today, and much more. For anyone interested in looking at these films from a technical perspective—or simply with the love of horror, or of Michael Jackson’s amazing creativity—this chat will be your ghoulish dream-come-true.

The MJCast wishes all of our listeners a great Thriller Night!

Additional Links
Episode 025 – Right Place, Right Time… Black Magic
• Episode 034 – June 25th Special feat. Kevin Stea
• Episode 041 – Michael Jackson & Prince Roundtable (Part 1)
• Episode 042 – Michael Jackson & Prince Roundtable (Part 2)
• Episode 066 – Long Hair Don’t Care
• Adam Green’s Twitter, Instagram, official website, IMDB page, and iTunes page for his podcast, The Movie Crypt (co-hosted with Joe Lynch and Adam’s adorable Yorkie sidekick, Arwen).
• Adam’s interview with Taj Jackson about Leaving Neverland on The Movie Crypt podcast.
• Frozen (2010) movie trailer
• Hatchet (2007) movie trailer
• Holliston (2013) Season 2 commercial
• Jack Chop (2009) short film
• Monster Problems (2016) short film
• Scary Sleepover – Episode 2.4 “Slash”

Ad & Music Breaks
• Michael Jackson – 2Bad (Ghosts Mix)
• Michael Jackson – Ghosts (Early Version)
• Michael Jackson – Thriller 35th Anniversary (SWG Remastered Extended Mix)
• Scandroid – Thriller (Official Lyric Video)

Connect with Us
 TheMJCast.com
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Instagram
• YouTube

If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael On!

Film Review: Danny Wu Goes Back to Square One with a Crucial Michael Jackson Allegations Documentary

“Square One” is the Michael Jackson documentary we need now.

It has been a tough year for the worldwide Michael Jackson fan community in the wake of “Leaving Neverland”. With celebrities like Oprah Winfrey hopping onto Dan Reed’s bandwagon, and almost all mainstream media purposely stifling any voice in protest of the film, or even any voice of reason, many fans have been left feeling hopeless. A select few podcasters, YouTubers, and media personalities have created great content countering “Leaving Neverland” but, as of yet, nothing has truly managed to get mainstream, lasting attention. And while the fan community awaits Taj Jackson’s docuseries (you can donate here), that project is still a long ways off.

But the tide may be changing. Just this month, three documentaries have been released in support of Michael Jackson (all of which The MJCast team discuss in #TheMJCastEp108): “Chase the Truth”, “Lies of Leaving Neverland”, and most importantly, in my view, “Square One”, by Danny Wu. After viewing the film at its premiere in Hollywood on September 28, 2019, I believe that Wu’s film has the potential to be a game-changer. It is the film we need in these times.

To give you some background on Danny Wu: Based in Vancouver, Canada, Wu is a YouTuber and up-and-coming filmmaker who grew up as an MJ fan, but who watched “Leaving Neverland” and was convinced of Jackson’s guilt. He decided to create a YouTube video presented as a compelling “Did he or didn’t he?” investigation. However, in the course of Wu’s extensive research, he realized that the facts didn’t add up, and that there could be no way that Michael Jackson was guilty of his accused crimes. Over this time, he interviewed Taj and Brandi Jackson and developed close ties with content creator Liam McEwen (who produced one of the first “Leaving Neverland” rebuttal videos, “Neverland Firsthand”). These relationships would solidify Wu’s support of Jackson’s innocence as well as his dedication to getting out the truth about the allegations. I want to emphasize that Wu “walks the walk”. His efforts are not motivated by money or attention-seeking. In fact, he has donated all of his YouTube revenue from his Jackson-related videos to Taj Jackson’s docuseries, and he self-funded “Square One”. When we interviewed him on The MJCast, he specifically recommended that anyone who wants to donate to him should give their money to Taj Jackson instead.

One might have assumed that Wu would create a film examining the lies in “Leaving Neverland”, since that has been the big focus of this year. But he took a different approach. Wu saw a video of Jackson’s 2005 defense lawyer, Tom Mesereau, in which he spoke about how, if Jordan Chandler had been called to speak in that trial, there would have been a line-up of Chandler’s friends ready to tell the opposite story. Inspired by this idea, Wu decided that he needed to find one of these friends who would be willing to speak publicly. And, in doing so, he could potentially take every allegation “back to square one”, where it all started. By focusing on the 1993 allegations and the Chandler family, he could expose the lies at their root.

With this context in mind, it was with great hope that I attended the film’s premiere on September 28, held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. It was hard to know what to expect for this event. Would the fans turn out? Would the film succeed in its goals? Wonderfully, Danny Wu’s “Square One” premiere was a night to remember, when the fan community came together to support a superb film that I believe will make a real difference. In attendance were all the stars of the film, including Danny Wu, Taj Jackson, Charles Thomson (investigative journalist and Legal Correspondent for The MJCast), Jenny Winings, Geraldine Hughes, and Josephine Zohny, who knew Jordan Chandler in college, had been on the 2005 trial witness list, and whose experiences with Chandler frame the film’s narrative. (More on that later.) The rest of the attendees represented a “who’s who” of the MJ community. It was an exciting, inspiring, and dynamic evening. Guest highlights included Tom Mesereau, Liam McEwan, John Ziegler, Tommy Organ, Thayana Sco Jackson, Edwin Costa (of @edwinsgeneration), filmmaker and podcaster Adam Green, actress Lori Petty, and many more. Fans had come from far and wide, with a few attendees flying from China for the event. There was a great energy, buzz, and a lot of love in the room in anticipation of the screening.

Now, onto the part you’re waiting for: So, how was the film?

“Square One” is a brilliant, professional, and entirely convincing film which will, in my view, speak both to fans and to a mainstream audience. When non-fans, or even casual fans, have asked me this year how to address the questions brought up by “Leaving Neverland”, I have found myself pointing to a lot of different resources, but they are typically overflowing with far more information than the average person is willing to sort through. Enter “Square One”, which is now the film to which I will direct people to understand the 1993 allegations and everything that would come after. The way in which it walks the viewer through a complex set of circumstances is impeccable: easy to absorb, concise, grounded in facts, and it lays the groundwork for precisely why things happened as they did, and how the 1993 allegations would set the stage for the Arvizo trial, Robson, Safechuck, and more. As Josephine Zohny says in the film, “Every allegation is built on the ’93 allegations”. By understanding the chain of events involving the Chandler family, the spider web of misfortunes that plagued Michael Jackson throughout the rest of his life are illuminated.

The structure of the film: First, I want to make clear that there are no surprise bombshells in this film. Serious fans will know this information already. (Though, for casual fans or non-fans, most of the facts presented in this film will be new and, I imagine, revelatory.) Its value is not in making new claims, but in presenting the information in the clearest way imaginable, and in doing so with authority. The film is framed by Zohny’s experiences with Jordan Chandler, with powerful interviews with Taj Jackson, Jenny Winings (who, like Zohny, was on the 2005 trial witness list), and Geraldine Hughes woven throughout the narrative. Caroline Fristedt also appears a few times, if briefly, and some archival audio from “Big Al” Scanlan is included. Danny Wu appears in the film to move the story along at certain points, though it is really Charles Thomson who serves as the film’s primary narrator. (It is worth noting that Thomson did not go into this project realizing that his interview would become so key to the film, and it is a testament to his encyclopedic mastery of this chronology that he can provide such a perfect explanation of the chain of events in two unscripted interviews.) Thomson essentially walks us through every step of the 1993 allegations, with the other interviewees highlighting key moments. The rest of the film is primarily made up of archival audio, video, articles and legal documents, which are all well-presented and well-edited. There is no feeling of a passionate “fan-made defense video” here. The information is serious, journalistic, grounded and credible. I particularly appreciate that the film immediately opens by clarifying a few major questions which seem to eternally emerge up in the Jackson allegation conversation: No child pornography was ever found at Neverland, and nothing was ever discovered during the extended, off-and-on investigation of Jackson by the FBI. The actual chronology of the film walks us through the history of the Chandler family, with a particular focus, of course, on Evan Chandler, and his growing rage. It establishes perfectly the sequence of events leading to Chandler’s extortion of Jackson and why Chandler filed a criminal report, when he clearly had had no intention of alerting authorities regarding the supposed abuse of his child. The film makes very clear, as well, why Jackson settled, and how this settlement never voided the possibility of a criminal trial if there had been any evidence to do so. Wu also addresses and clarifies La Toya Jackson’s support (at the time) of the allegations, Victor Gutierrez and Rodney Allen’s role in the fiasco, and concludes with a short section touching on the Arvizo case. The film’s greatest accomplishment is to put all these puzzle pieces together in a way that any viewer can comprehend. Once set in place, there is a sense of crystal-clear understanding that, as Geraldine Hughes says, “Michael Jackson was the victim of an elaborate extortion scheme which launched the allegations.”

Why Josephine Zohny? Zohny has been unfairly criticized by some people online, saying that she is not a credible source. I completely disagree with this. She, along with Jenny Winings, were on the 2005 trial witness list, and would have been part of that trial if Chandler had been brought into the case. Also, Zohny is not motivated by anything but telling the truth: She gave one statement when she was put on the 2005 witness list, but has never spoken publicly about her experiences otherwise. She has never sold her story, nor has she told conflicting or exaggerated tales. And, while it’s true that she was not a close friend of Chandler’s, just an acquaintance, she had interactions with him on multiple occasions when they were classmates together at NYU, and heard him make statements specifically related to Jackson. According to her, Chandler surrounded himself with MJ memorabilia and fan friends, and, upon the release of Martin Bashir’s “Living with Michael Jackson”, Chandler stated, in front of multiple witnesses, that Jackson was “not capable of the things he was being accused of”. In sum, Zohny has put herself in the spotlight at personal risk (she has had to deal with internet trolls and her professional website being hacked) in order to defend Michael Jackson, and I have absolutely no doubt that viewers will find her story compelling and credible.

The minuses: I have very few critiques of this film, which I hope will be widely shared across the global MJ fan community and far beyond, except to point out that it could have benefited from a bit more editing. Wu created “Square One” in just a couple of months, which is deeply impressive, so I am perfectly willing to excuse any slight imperfections. I personally wish that Charles Thomson’s narration wasn’t via a sometimes-crackly speakerphone, for example, but that is a small complaint. So many long-time fans have spent years exploring the issues around the Jackson allegations, but no one has managed to create anything quite like this, and I encourage every Jackson fan to come together to support this film in whatever way we can.

I’ll conclude with a few words from Tom Mesereau, who was interviewed by John Ziegler immediately after the film premiere:

“It’s a fabulous film. It is high quality. It was carefully investigated. It was condensed in a very professional attempt to find the truth, and it tells the truth. Michael Jackson was not a pedophile. He never should have been put through what he was put through, starting with the case in ’92-’93. And I commend Danny Wu and all of his people for the fabulous job they did, and I can’t wait to hear this circulating through society, because we live in very, very biased, troubled times. Michael Jackson was never a pedophile, never should have been accused as such, and his life was destroyed by greed, by people without integrity, by people without a conscience. This film starts the road back from some of the recent developments, which have been very troubling. [Wu] did a tremendous job in showing the truth.”

Let’s gather as a community to support this film and other quality content being released in Michael Jackson’s defense. This is our moment.

How to watch “Square One”:

October 5, 2019: Worldwide debut of “Square One” on YouTube.

London premiere: UK residents can attend a screening of the film on October 5th in London. Danny Wu will be in attendance, and possibly other stars of the film. Information here.

Learn more:

The MJCast’s interview with Danny Wu.

Danny Wu’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages.

Other episodes from The MJCast related to the allegations:

Episode 108 – Back to Square One

Episode 103 – Vindication Day Special with Larry Nimmer

Episode 099 – Leaving Neverland Q&A

Episode 095 – Leaving Neverland Roundtable

Episode 081 – Vindication Day Special with Aphrodite Jones

Episode 058 – Vindication Day Special (Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations)

Episode 033 – Vindication Day Special with Scott Ross

Article by Elise Capron.

108: Back to Square One

In this regular episode, Jamon and Q catch up on lots of big news in the world of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. They discuss museum exhibitions at the Smithsonian and in Finland, an updated edition of Joe Vogel’s Man in the Music, Raymone Bain’s much-hyped press conference, new videos from Michael Trapson, and great new music from TJ Jackson. For their main topic, they discuss three (yes, three!) new Michael Jackson documentaries: Chase the Truth, The Lies of Leaving Neverland, and Square One. Plus, special guest Danny Wu, YouTuber and creator of Square One, joins the guys for a chat about his film.

Follow Up
• Michael Jackson birthday events roundup.
• The MJCast Legal Correspondent Charlie Thomson is now working for Taj Jackson as the writer of his allegations documentary.
• 50 Cent and Sheryl Crowe.
• Thanks for giving me a heart attack, Janet!
• Rotterdam Walk of Fame.

News
• An iconic Michael Jackson photograph is featured in the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.
• The Michael Jackson – On the Wall official Estate and National Portrait Gallery exhibition is now showing at the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, Finland.
• Raymone Bain’s press conference.
• Michael Trapson drops full 36-minute Trapson EO tribute film, as well as the Michael Trapson New Vibration 2019 Pepsi remake.
• Joe Vogel’s updated, revised and expanded edition of Man In the Music has now been released and is available for purchase. Published by Vintage Anchor Books, links for purchase are available here, or with free shipping via Book Depository.
• TJ Jackson releases his first solo single, Insomnia, available now across streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music.

Main Discussion Topic
• Chase the Truth
• Lies of Leaving Neverland
• Square One, premiering in Los Angeles on September 28, and releasing worldwide on YouTube on October 5.

Finds of the Week
• Jamon – Disney Channel’s The Making of Captain EO
• Q – Legends Never Die video tribute to MJ and his fans, made by the world’s best MJ YouTube video mixer, Malc Jennings/Smooth EmJay.
• Danny – Amateur footage of MJ Live in Brunei 1996 and Billie Jean Live In Munich, Germany 1997.

Additional Links
• Danny Wu’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.

Ad & Music Breaks
• Michael Jackson – Remember the Time (Nick* Deep Mix)
• The Jacksons – Lovely One (Groovefunkel Remix)
• Michael Jackson – Smile (Piano Version) [Alternate Vocal]

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comStay BAD!

107: Allan ‘Big Al’ Scanlan Special

Q and Jamon celebrate Michael Jackson’s 61st birthday with a very special guest, Allan ‘Big Al’ Scanlan, who worked as Neverland Valley Ranch’s Director of Maintenance from 1990-2005. During that time, Big Al oversaw the grounds and attractions, including the theatre, rides and trains. He also became a close personal friend of Michael’s.

In this in-depth conversation, Big Al shares amazing, heartfelt stories about his life at Neverland, from what it took to keep the Ranch running, to his personal interactions with the King of Pop. He also discusses how the property became a place of refuge, entertainment, and hope for underprivileged children, and how Michael Jackson’s entire staff worked to make that humanitarian dream a reality.

The MJCast can’t imagine a better way to recognize Michael Jackson’s birthday than with this trip down memory lane, to the golden age of Neverland Valley Ranch.

Additional Links
• Big Al on Facebook and Twitter.

Ad & Music Breaks
• Jackson 5 – I’ll Be There (DJ Hasebe Remix)
• Michael Jackson & J-Friends – People Of The World (TheMJQuotes Edit)
• MTN South Africa – We Are The World

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael On!

106: That’s Why I Do the Hashtags

Jamon is back after a short break, joining Q to discuss updates in the world of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. In this regular episode, the guys chat about a wide range of topics, from the disappointing news that Leaving Neverland has been nominated for several Emmy Awards, to the much happier news that Michael Jackson may have a place on the “Walk of Fame” in Dubai, and the gorgeous new MJ statue which has been erected by fans in Zhengzhou, in Central China’s Henan Province. Plus, they discuss Andy Healy’s 35th anniversary retrospective article on the Victory album, as well as a really fun new episode of “Moonwalk Talks” (glad to have you back, Jankins!). The team also announces upcoming MJ 61st birthday events happening around the world, and, for their main discussion topic, the dive into the question of what the Michael Jackson Estate should do next.

News
• Leaving Neverland has been nominated for five Emmy Awards.
Andy Healy drops a retrospective article on the Victory album for its 35th anniversary.
• Jankins has returned to the world of Michael Jackson podcasting with a tongue-in-cheek episode of Moonwalk Talks on Michael being a Jedi.
• Dubai’s “Walk of Fame” could soon include Michael Jackson. Vote here! (Nominations close at midnight (GST) on Wednesday, 31 July 2019.)
• Chinese fans of Michael Jackson have erected a statue of Michael and held a concert in Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan Province to commemorate his death. Video of the event.
• Michael Jackson Birthday events: (if you know about more, be sure to share them online!)
• São Paulo, Brazil: Sunday 25 August. MJ Celebration Party on Paulista Avenue, dancing covers, tributes, games and contests. For more details, contact @DanielJackson7 on twitter.
• London, England: Wednesday 28 August (2pm-5:30pm), Thursday 29 August (11am-6:30pm), Friday 30 August (11am-6pm), Saturday 31 August (11am-2pm). At Gallery Different, “Michael: HIS_story” exhibition. Admission £3
• Las Vegas, Nevada: Wednesday 28 August. Casual fan dinner, Slice of Vegas, 7pm, paid event (you pay for your own dinner).
• Las Vegas, Nevada: Thursday 29 August. MJ Fan Meet and Greet afternoon tea. RiRa Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay, 11am, $35 per person, limited tickets.
• Las Vegas, Nevada: Thursday 29 August. Michael Jackson ONE celebration at Mandalay Bay, paid event.
• Las Vegas, Nevada: Friday 30 August. MJLive at Stratosphere Hotel Casino. Showtime 7pm. Paid event, tickets must be purchased.
• Santa Monica, California: Saturday 31 August. Private buffet-style candlelight dinner and Bad concert film screening at fan Davina Baham‘s residence. Paid event in the way of a $5-$10 cover charge to help pay for the food and drinks.
• Perth, Australia: Saturday 31 August. MJ Birthday Charity Lunch, 12-5pm, Dome café Belmont (next to the Reading Cinemas). Please bring a charity donation of a gold coin, and of course if you’re eating and drinking you’ll need to buy your own foods and drinks.
• Brussels, Belgium: In the Studio with MJ, 3 days of events! Friday 30 August (6-9pm), MJ Birthday Remix seminar; Saturday 31 August (11am – 8pm), Brad Sundberg, Brad Buxer AND Michael Prince seminar; Sunday 1 September (11am – 8pm) In the Studio With MJ 2019 seminar + The Tour of Neverland. Tickets and event details.
• Copenhagen, Denmark: Saturday, 31 August. Info here or contact @MooWalkersDK on twitter for more info if needed!
Zurich, Switzerland: Saturday 21 September. Michael Jackson Night at the Mundwerk Club. Doors open at 7pm, party and performances from 9pm (there may be a club cover charge for this). Follow @jackson_ch the Swiss MJ community twitter for more.
• Washington, DC, USA: Wednesday, 28 August. A play, “The Night Michael Jackson Died”, which “seeks to reclaim the legacy of Michael Jackson”, followed by an MJ-themed dance party. Tickets available here.

Main Discussion Topic
• What should the MJ Estate do next?

Finds of the Week
• Jamon – Michael Jackson’s You Rock My World covered By Justin Lee Schultz on a talk box
• Q – Annamaria’s amazing Michael and Janet art on Twitter and Instagram

Additional Links
• Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See

Ad & Music Breaks
• Janet Jackson – One More Chance
• Jaafar Jackson – Got Me Singing
• Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us (Nick* Crook County Remix)

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comKeep Michaeling!

105: Don’t Forget Your Lanyard

Q and Elise are running the show today, with Jamon taking a much-needed break after featuring on twelve back-to-back episodes in a row. It’s been such a busy first half of the year that this is Elise’s first show appearance on Season 5! She’s thrilled to be back for lots of news updates and discussion with Q.

In this regular episode, the team covers Joe Vogel’s new edition of Man In the Music, Jafaar Jackson’s debut single and music video, Paris Jackson’s latest TV role, John Branca’s version of the highs and lows as co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate for the past decade, and updates on the lawsuit being filed by French MJ fans against Robson and Safechuck. Elise will also talk about some of the recent #MJWeek events she was able to attend in California. And, as their main discussion topic, Q and Elise chat about two amazing new documentary films, which they encourage all fans to watch and share: LaVelle Smith Jr.’s “The Man Behind the Dance”, as well as Paul Dwyer’s “Humanitarian – The Real Michael Jackson”.

This episode also includes updates from The MJCast correspondents Steven (MJFFC), Janneke (Jackson Source), and Courtney & Kam (Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever).

News
• Joe Vogel confirms the release of a new version of Man in the Music in August.
• John Branca participates in an interview with ABC on the last ten years as the Michael Jackson Estate’s co-executor.
• Weird Al Yankovic drops Michael Jackson parodies from his show set lists.
• Jafaar Jackson releases his debut single and video, “Got Me Singing”.
• Paris Jackson steals the show in a new “Scream” reboot.
• French fans are suing Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
• Gallery Different in London to host “Michael: HIS_story” exhibition in August.

Main Discussion Topic
• LaVelle Smith Jr.’s The Man Behind the Dance documentary review.
• Australian fan Paul Dwyer’s Humanitarian – The Real Michael Jackson documentary review.

Finds of the Week
• Q – Recent fan catch-up in Perth, and upcoming MJ birthday lunch on Saturday, August 31, at noon, at Dome Cafe Belmont.
• Elise – Her #MJFieldTrip to see an MJ mural in San Diego, California (made out of Post-It notes!) based on the Jeff Koons sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

Additional Links
• More dates coming up for In The Studio with MJ.
• The MJCast – Episode 015: Brad Sundberg Special
• The MJCast – Episode 052: Michael Prince Special
• The MJCast – Episode 064: Vincent Paterson Special
• The MJCast – Episode 100: Brad Buxer Special

Ad & Music Breaks
• The Jacksons – Walk Right Now (Nick* Redux)
• Michael Jackson – It’s the Falling In Love (The Reflex Revision)
• Michael Jackson (feat. Akon vs. Halsey) – Hold My Colors [Deelirious Mashup]

Correspondent Appearances
• Steven Hodges of MJFFC (Charity Correspondent)
• Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source (Jackson family Correspondent)
• Courtney and Cam of Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever podcast (Janet Jackson Correspondent)

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comStay BAD!