Episode 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

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

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Correspondent Appearances

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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!

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.

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.

Episode 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

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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!

Episode 102 – Eggs for Breakfast

This episode is dedicated to TJ, known as @TabloidJunk online, who passed away suddenly in late May. TJ started The MJCast with Jamon and Q, was an inspiring activist and an opinionated, wise, hilarious, fabulous, and devoted friend. He was truly the guys’ MJ brother, part of the “awesome foursome”, and he shall be deeply missed. If you would like to hear TJ on the show, you can listen to #TheMJCastEp82, when the guys discussed the origins of the podcast, as well as wonderful memories about their friendship and fun times together in the MJ fan world. The MJCast sends love to TJ’s family and friends. Love lives forever.

Jamon and Q have lots of news to cover in this regular episode, including updates on Marcos Cabota’s Bruce Swedien documentary, a film to be released by LaVelle Smith, Jr., a great chat with Taj Jackon on “The Movie Crypt” podcast (who give The MJCast a truly kind shout-out!), an MJ-themed café in Kabul, and MJ popping up in music and dance around the world, such as a new Chris Brown video, as well as an entire dance performance based on Michael Jackson’s life, performed by the Salzburg Ballet in Austria. They also discuss the amazing range of MJ tributes happening this month, including a “Moonwalker” screening in Shanghai, a dance performance in Paris, and a fan events taking place in Australia, France, the U.S., and all around the world. In addition, the guys touch on more news related to “Leaving Neverland”, including MJ activist Rasheed’s “In Justice Project”, a repository of resources available on the MJJForum, and the MJ Estate’s #HonorMJ campaign.

News

  • Janet Jackson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and launches her Vegas residency, “Metamorphosis”.
  • Marcos Cabota releases a teaser for his Bruce Swedien documentary.
  • LaVelle Smith, Jr., due to release an interview documentary, “The Man Behind the Dance”, honoring Michael Jackson, the tours, the person, the allegations and his death.
  • Chris Brown features heavy MJ tributes in his new music video for his song “Back To Love”.
  • A new digital book on the Michael Jackson sex abuse allegations called “Not Guilty: Debunking the Michael Jackson Allegations from Jordie Chandler to Leaving Neverland” has been released by Jimmy Colwill.
  • Prince Jackson launches a movie review YouTube channel with younger brother Bigi and cousin Taj.
  • The Michael Jackson Estate have settled a lawsuit with Tohme Tohme.
  • Taika Waititi and Netflix pull out of a stop-motion film project “Bubbles”.
  • “Moonwalker” will be screening at the Shanghai International Film festival on June 15, 17, and 24.
  • Taj Jackson sits down with Adam, Joe and Arwen of the long-running and acclaimed movie podcast, The Movie Crypt, on Episode 313.
  • Aaron Carter clarifies his claim that Michael Jackson was inappropriate.
  • MJ activist Rasheed has created a blog over at MJJForum, the In Justice project, which is a large repository of “Leaving Neverland” information.
  • Highlight video of “Moonwalk”, the incredible-looking action ballet performed by the Salzburg Ballet in Austria, with dances set to MJ’s music.
  • MJ Danse et Solidarité will be performing in front of the Eiffel Tower on June 9th, and features dance teacher Speedy, who was part of the Michael Jackson Immortal Tour of Cirque du Soleil. (Previous performances can be seen here: Jam, Dangerous, Smooth Criminal/Al Capone.)
  • Events are beginning to be organised around the world to remember and celebrate Michael Jackson:
    • Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday, 29 June: Special screening of “Dangerous: Live in Bucharest” on the big screen at Sun Threatre Yarraville, followed by an MJ Party at the Blue Moon Bar. Tickets are $20.
    • Perth, Western Australia, on Friday, 21 June: Michael Jackson Tribute Night at Mint Nightclub (details).
    • Los Angeles, California, on June 21-23: Brad Sundberg’s In The Studio With MJ seminar.
    • Sadly, the European Jackson Event on 24 August at the Event center ‘de Kei’ Kerkplein 69, Reusel – The Netherlands, has been cancelled, and tickets will be refunded.
    • For French and other MJFam in Europe, tickets have gone on sale for MJ Music Day, to be held in Lyon, France, 19 October, 2019.
    • Brisbane, Australia, on 29 June: “10 Year Anniversary Michael Jackson Tribute Show” featuring Soulcutz, at the Springwood Hotel.
  • A Michael Jackson Café has opened in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Main Discussion Topic

  • The Michael Jackson Estate have launched the #HonorMJ campaign

Finds of the Week

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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!

Episode 095 – Leaving Neverland Roundtable

The recent Sundance screening of Dan Reed’s inflammatory film, Leaving Neverland, has, without a doubt, rocked the Michael Jackson community. Despite being based on the easily discredited stories of Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, and lacking any sort of real investigation, balanced interviews, or responsible journalism, this film has reignited the media’s firestorm against Jackson’s legacy, even as Michael is not here to defend himself.

In this special roundtable episode, The MJCast brings together a panel of experts and those who have seen the film and are taking action against it. Q and Jamon lead the discussion, and are joined by Taj Jackson (member of 3T and son of Tito Jackson, who is currently raising funds to produce his own docu-series), Charles Thomson (The MJCast’s Legal Correspondent and award-winning investigative journalist who has exposed a range of actual child abusers and cover-ups for The Yellow Advertiser in the UK), Marcos Cabotá (a film director who has seen the film and was one of its earlier critics) and Samar Habib (of the Michael Jackson Academia Project, who has been a leading figure in the online movement against the film).

The panellists discuss Reed’s film, the Sundance Q&A session, and the media reaction, as well as developments coming together to counter the film, such as Taj’s docu-series, which can be supported on GoFundMe. Taj also speaks to his own experiences of actually spending time with Michael at Neverland. The group offers talking points for anyone struggling with how to respond to people who say that Michael Jackson was an abuser, as well as coping strategies and words of encouragement.

Now, more than ever, it is the time to come together as fans, to support each other, and to remind the media and general public of the truth. The MJCast hopes that this episode provides resources, strength, and a sense of community during this challenging moment.

Participants

Topics

  • Leaving Neverland
  • The reality of Robson’s relationship with the Jackson family, and why he turned on them.
  • The effects on the Jackson family.
  • Taj’s memories of spending time at Neverland with Michael, and what it was like being there during the 2005 trial.
  • Taj’s GoFundMe campaign and his vision for the docu-series.
  • How fans can combat this onslaught, and how this compares to 1993 and 2003-2005.
  • Fan Comebacks 101 – Robson.
  • Fan Comebacks 101 – General Allegations.
  • Tips on coping, finding community, and supporting balanced opinions.

Additional Links

Connect with Us

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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.com. Michael on!

Episode 088 – Janet Got Busy

After a whirlwind summer of Jackson events, anniversaries, and special guests, Jamon and Q catch up on lots of news and developments in the world of Michael Jackson! On this episode, the guys welcome first-time guests Courtney and Kam, who co-host the Janet Jackson podcast, Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever. The podcasting foursome chat about the story behind the new podcast, as well as updates in the world of Janet, including the buzz around her fantastic new single, ‘Made For Now’.

On the Jackson news front, the team discusses the recent media explosion around the Cascio Case, and the upcoming, limited-series podcast by Damien Shields, titled Faking Michael, which will document the history of the fraudulent tracks. They also chat about new books by Anthony King, Richard Lecocq & Francois Allard, and Vincent Paterson; the upcoming Quincy Jones documentary showing on Netflix; and the one-week run of “Thriller 3D” in IMAX theaters. Plus, they recap events at the Diamond Celebration in Las Vegas, and get updates from The MJCast correspondents.

News

  • Official Michael Jackson merchandise was been released by Culture Kings in Australia. Oh, and Cotton On.
  • Anthony King has released his first book on Michael Jackson, called Michael Jackson & Classical Music.
  • Richard Lecocq & Francois Allard’s book Michael Jackson – All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track is due for release on October 23rd
  • Netflix lands a Quincy Jones documentary for September 21 release.
  • Vincent Paterson’s autobiography, Icônes et Instincts is now available in French. The English version is coming soon!
  • Jacksonville students to benefit from 1984 donation from Michael Jackson for scholarships.
  • The article, ’60 Years of Michael Jackson, The Fashion Icon’, appears in Britain’s VOGUE magazine.
  • Damien Shields launches his Faking Michael podcast
  • Frank Cascio’s book to be turned into mini-series
  • Cascio Case media explosion and updates
  • ‘Thriller 3D’ to play in IMAX theatres for a one-week run
  • Diamond Celebration discussion
  • Audio from the ‘Diamond Celebration’ Q&A with John Branca in Las Vegas
  • Janet’s throwback video to MJ’s Remember the Time

Main Discussion Topic

  • Janet! Janet Jackson releases a new single and two new music videos for ‘Made For Now (feat. Daddy Yankee)’
  • Janet’s recent performance on Jimmy Fallon

Finds of the Week

  • Jamon – Mark Ryden shares a YouTube video in which he discusses making a frame for his original Dangerous album art piece. His original design sketches of the frame are also available here.
  • Q – A video that listener (and legendary Aussie MJ tribute artist) Paul Rizzo posted, comparing the original release and the Number Ones DVD release of the film clips for Blood On The Dance Floor, and the differences between them!

Additional Links

  • iTunes and Twitter for the Janet Today, Janet Tomorrow, Janet Forever podcast.
  • Janet discusses motherhood and learning to love her body on Eonline!e!
  • CBS Executive Les Moonves was obsessed with ruining Janet Jackson’s career article from Huffington Post.

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Correspondent Appearances

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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!

Episode 081 – Vindication Day Special with Aphrodite Jones

The MJCast present their fourth annual special episode recognising Michael Jackson’s acquittal from false child molestation allegations on June 13th, 2005. On each of these annual episodes, The MJCast’s Legal Correspondent Charles Thomson along with hosts Jamon Bull and Q, bring a very special guest onto the show to discuss their experience with the trial that so deeply affected Jackson’s life.

A photograph originally used as evidence in Michael Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.

In this year’s show, the guys welcome author of the newly released special edition of Michael Jackson Conspiracy, Aphrodite Jones. Aphrodite is a journalist and the author of several bestselling true crime books, one of which was turned into the Oscar-winning movie, Boys Don’t Cry. During Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial, Aphrodite initially found herself on the side of the prosecution. However, after the trial was over, she reassessed her stance, and admitted that she got it wrong. She went on to write one of the most comprehensive books about the trial, Michael Jackson Conspiracy, which includes a Foreword by Tom Mesereau. Self-published in 2007, the book went on to become a cult hit, and is being re-released in a new edition this week. Michael Jackson Conspiracy is the last book Aphrodite published, though she has gone on to be a successful true crime documentary host as well as host of her own podcast, called Sex, Love & Murder.

The new edition of the book features colour photos, exclusive links to footage of accuser Gavin Arvizo being led in a police interview, Michael Jackson discussing a children’s holiday with Martin Bashir and Neverland Valley Ranch during the trial era.

Jamon, Q, and Charles talk with Aphrodite about her early life, her experience being one of the few reporters given permanent seats in the courtroom throughout Jackson’s trial, how she fell under the pro-persecution spell and how she changed her mind. Topics also discussed include her interpretation of how the media handled the trial and how it impacted Michael in his final years.

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Aphrodite’s 2005 photograph of fan made posters from Michael Jackson’s criminal trial.

 

Episode 078 – That was a Q-incidence

Jamon and Q are excited to dig into a big news roundup this week, with lots of developments in the world of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family. They cover the outcome of the Moonwalkers documentary on Kickstarter, a new book publishing this Fall by Richard Lecocq and Francois Allard, and news from Will.i.am regarding music he worked on with MJ. They also discuss the new Bad World Tour concert footage released by the Indy Channel, and Bryan Loren’s public plea to fans for monetary compensation regarding his leaked tracks.

On the Jackson family events front, Janet Jackson has announced additional tour dates (and launched a national back-up dancer search!) and will be headlining a major music festival in Los Angeles this summer. The Jacksons will perform at the Detroit Music Weekend, a three day festival celebrating their impact and legacy. And, in Tulsa, OK, a Michael Jackson Tribute event will be held on June 24, hosted by Jankins of Moonwalk Talks.

Jamon and Q will also discuss the news from 3T, who have released their Chapter III song, “Fire”, as a single in France. And on TV, La Toya Jackson dons her beloved classic headband on the reality show, “Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition”. Plus, Paris Jackson has a star-studded 20th birthday bash, and gets some well-deserved attention for the important work she’s doing on the activist front by publishing an op-ed in Teen Vogue about HIV/AIDS awareness. Paris will receive the LIFE+ award on behalf of her godmother, Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS foundation, at the 25th Life Ball this June.

This episode also features several of our correspondents, including Steven Hodges of MJFFC (Charity Correspondent), Charles Thomson (Legal Correspondent), and Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source (Jackson family Correspondent).

News

  • Richard Lecocq and Francois Allard are set to release a new book on Michael Jackson titled Michael Jackson – All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Song, Every Video, Every Dance Move.
  • Will.i.am again tells reporters he won’t be releasing the songs he worked on with Michael Jackson.
  • The Indy Channel has released a retrospective article on Michael’s final performance in Indianapolis featuring never-before-seen footage from the Bad World Tour.
  • Record producer Bryan Loren has released a plea to Michael Jackson fans asking for monetary compensation regarding his many leaked tracks
  • Upcoming Michael Jackson Tribute event, Sunday, 24 June 2018, Tulsa Oklahoma, held by Jankins of the Moonwalk Talks podcast. Games, trivia, movies, dance, art, prizes and charity, tickets are $10, or $5 for 14 and under.
  • Paris Jackson Said Goodbye to Her Teens with a Star-Studded 20th Birthday Bash
  • Paris writes inspiring op-ed piece for Teen Vogue magazine on why HIV/AIDS awareness is close to her heart, and also will receive the LIFE+ award on behalf of her godmother, Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS foundation at the 25th Life Ball, June 2 charity event in Vienna.
  • The Jacksons are set to participate in Detroit Music Weekend, a three day festival celebrating their impact and legacy
  • 3T to release their Chapter III song, “Fire”, as a single in France.
  • La Toya Jackson participates in the new season of “Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition”
  • Janet Jackson to perform at LA’s FYF Fest in July
  • Janet Jackson launches #DanceWithJanet campaign, and announces further dates for her successful State of the World tour.
  • Will Smith shares his story of the one time he met Michael Jackson.

Main Discussion Topic

  • Random fan chat!

Finds of the Week

Additional Links

Ad & Music Breaks

Correspondent Appearances


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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!

Episode 075 – I’m a Strange Guy

Welcome to Season Four of The MJCast! After a long (but much-needed!) winter break, hosts Jamon and Q are excited to be back to discuss everything that’s been happening in the world of Michael Jackson and the Jackson family, and to look ahead to the year to come. The guys kick things off by discussing Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle: Michael Jackson Celebration, Paris Jackson’s ‘soundtrack to her life’, and the Kickstarter campaign for the Moonwalkers documentary, which explores the world of MJ tribute artists. And, looking ahead to events happening in 2018, British fans can check out the London Portrait Gallery’s ‘On the Wall’ exhibition, while fans around the world can see The Jacksons, who have announced new concert dates, and 3T, who will be attending the 5th Annual MJ Day in Paris on August 29th, as well as performing on September 1st. Plus, Janet Jackson will perform alongside MJ luminary Teddy Riley at the Essence Festival happening this July. To round this segment of the show out, Q offers a touching reflection on the late MJ fan, Mustafa.

As they launch this new season, Jamon and Q also have some exciting announcements. Going forward, the team is expanding with correspondents, several of whom you’ve heard on previous episodes. They will be the official reporters on particular aspects of MJ news, history, and the fan community, and will be involved in episodes regularly. Two featured correspondents on this episode include Steven Hodges of Michael Jackson Fans For Charity (MJFFC) and Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source. And, the team is pleased to announce that Elise Capron has joined The MJCast as Web Assistant. Her work will be focused around shownotes, and you’ll also be seeing her on social media, so feel free to say hi! Elise tells her fan story and talks a bit about the market for MJ-related books. Plus, Q covers his recent visit to the MJ HIStory statue in the Netherlands, and his visit with Janneke van der Linden of Jackson Source.

News

  • Paramount Network launches with Lip Sync Battle: Michael Jackson Celebration
  • Paris Jackson creates the soundtrack to her life
  • Moonwalkers documentary on Kickstarter
  • London Portrait Gallery ‘On the Wall’ exhibition coming to London
  • The Jacksons have a range of upcoming concert dates
  • 3T to perform in Paris on the 1st of September after attending the 5th annual ‘MJ Day’ on August 29th
  • Janet Jackson to perform at 2018’s Essence Festival from the 5th – 8th of July
  • Mustafa’s story

Main Discussion Topic

Finds of the Week

  • Jamon – Michael Jackson – Ride With Me
  • Q.- Brittany Spanos’ Rolling Stone article; How Michael and Janet Jackson created the New Black Rock Star
  • Elise – Joseph Vogel’s new article in The Guardian; Black and White: How Dangerous Kicked off Michael Jackson’s Race Paradox and Bryan Alexander’s USA Today article on Paris Jackson in the new film; Gringo

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, 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!