145: Vindication Day Special with Brett Barnes

It is almost thirty years since Brett Barnes last spoke to a journalist. The last time he gave an interview was in 1993, aged eleven, when he took to the airwaves to defend his friend Michael Jackson against allegations that he was a molester of young boys. But the Barnes family quickly learned not to engage with the media when it came to Jackson. Attempts by tabloid reporters to hunt them down after that became so intrusive that they were driven from their home for months. When they went off grid, media outlets instead began offering tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to anybody who was prepared to say they’d seen him behave inappropriately with young friends like Brett Barnes.

Ever since then, ugly, graphic sexual allegations about Jackson and Brett have been published in books, magazines and newspapers and have been broadcast by trashy tabloid TV shows. Rarely, if ever, has anybody sought to fact-check the stories – nor have outlets ever really seemed to care when Brett explicitly refuted them. But for almost three decades, he chose to bite his tongue rather than engage with a media industry that seemed to have its own agenda.

In 2019, Brett – by then happily settled down with his wife and their young children – had his peace shattered by a reality TV show called Leaving Neverland. Strangers on the internet began contacting him to warn him that the show included his name and likeness and strongly insinuated that Jackson had sexually abused him – something nobody involved in making the show had seen fit to inform him of. He immediately contacted its maker, HBO, to strenuously deny the claims and request that they be removed. HBO told him to get lost and the show was sold all over the world, for consumption by millions of people. 

Since then, Brett’s world has been turned upside-down. Aggressive journalists have shown up on his doorstep and told him lies to try to trick him into giving them interviews. He has been harassed and trolled on a constant basis for three years by anonymous social media accounts, accusing him of being a liar, an enemy of abuse victims and a shill for a child molester. 

After three years of relentless abuse, defamation and invasion of his privacy, Brett decided it was finally time to speak out. On May 14th, 2022, he granted Charles Thomson a world exclusive, no-holds-barred interview. No question or topic was off limits. There was only one platform he was prepared to let broadcast it: The MJCast.

For the first time ever, he spoke in depth about his relationship with Jackson, starting from the very beginning and explaining how it evolved over almost 20 years – from witnessing first-hand the 1993 police raid of Neverland Ranch, to testifying at Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial, and all the way up to his final conversation with Jackson just days before his death. Along the way, for the first time ever, he had the opportunity to give unequivocal answers to the many allegations which had been published and broadcast about him over the years – a subject which caused him to become emotional on more than one occasion.

The conversation is being released on June 13th, 2022 – the 17th anniversary of the verdicts in Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Additional Links
• Charles Thomson’s article “One of the Most Shameful Episodes In Journalistic History“.
• #TheMJCast133: Vindication Day Special With Carol LaMere
• #TheMJCast103: Vindication Day Special with Larry Nimmer
• #TheMJCast081: Vindication Day Special with Aphrodite Jones
• #TheMJCast058: Vindication Day Special (Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations)
• #TheMJCast033: Vindication Day Special with Scott Ross
• #TheMJCast010: Vindication Day 10th Anniversary Special with Tom Mesereau

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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

137: He Is Not Committed to the Lean

In this regular episode, host Jamon Bull is joined by returning guests Rickey Alexander and Velo Kristina for a big update on news in the world of Michael Jackson. They discuss a restored version of the HIStory album teaser, several upcoming films related to Jackson, including Marcos Cabotá’s greatly anticipated “Sonic Fantasy”, updates on James Safechuck’s lawsuit, a newly released photo of MJ, a new article on Jackson’s time in Bahrain, and much more.

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Discussion Topics
• A restored version of the HIStory album teaser is coming.
• A new Netflix documentary on Michael Jackson is imminent.
• The second trailer is out for Jin Chohan’s “Trial By Media” has been released.
• Marcos Cabotá’s has released a trailer for his documentary “Sonic Fantasy”.
• James Safechuck’s lawyer has filed a late appeal.
• Billy Porter and Lang Lang have paid tribute to Michael Jackson at the Global Citizen concerts.
• Glen Ballard is interviewed on working with Michael Jackson.
• A new photo of Michael Jackson, shot by Greg Gorman has surfaced.
• Moonwalkers documentary, now titled The Three Michaels, finally has a theatrical screening date coming up soon.
• A Tokyo baseball team is collaborating with the Estate on merchandise featuring MJ and their team mascot.
• A new article has been released on MJ’s post-trial year in Bahrain.

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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

130: An Evening With Charlie and Jamon

It’s been far too long since The MJCast had a good old fashioned Q&A episode, so the team is bringing this format back with host Jamon Bull and everyone’s favorite Brit, Charles Thomson! The guys received over 80 questions, with no topics barred, covering everything from their favorite songs, to fan experiences, to insights on legal proceedings. We so appreciate all of our MJ Fam who submitted questions (and wish we could have gotten to each and every question), and hope you enjoy this fascinating, deep-dive chat about all things MJ!

“The Pale Prince of Peculiarity”
1) Can you tell us what you know about MJ‘s relationship with Sony? What went wrong and why did he hate them so much at the end of his life? It‘s a really confusing topic for me.

Annie
2) If the planet was about to be blown up by an evil super villain, and the only way to save humanity was for Charles Thomson to perform either Heal The World, The Lost Children or I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – which one would he choose?

Neil G
3) There have been reports of a MJ movie in the works. Is this a good idea? If so, who should play Michael?

Tom Rujitermann
4) Do you think it’s possible that Taj’s series could change the minds of many people? Or do you feel Michael has been so dehumanised that people will never be able to see past what the media portrays?

Curtis Roberton
5) Invincible is Michael’s last album and probably worst in eyes of a lot of people. But for me, it’s one of his best. I have friends who aren’t MJ fans and I have shown them the Invincible album and they think it’s amazing and start downloading the album, almost like a lost MJ album. What positives can you say about Invincible?
6) During This Is It, there are moments where MJ looks fragile and ill, like the start of The Way You Make Me Feel. Later on, when MJ is in the blue, he looks on top form, same with They Don’t Care About Us–he looks great and on form? Why is this?

Gillian Rice
7) How often does Charles listen to Michael’s music? And what are his top 3 songs?

Wendy
8) Can you tell us what you know about all of the aftermath of Michael’s injuries during the 1999 concert? Like medically, how was he treated, how did people around him respond to it, and more?
9) Do you think Dan Egghead Reed Is going to make Leaving Neverland 2?

?
10) Do you like John Branca, and tell me all the reasons why not?

Bob
11) Were you surprised that the court dismissed the James Safechuck lawsuit?

Jonny
12) Any idea why MJ used to let Prince have his hair bleached at such a young age? Always wondered and unsure if it has ever been answered. Very young age to colour a child’s hair. Maybe the freedom of expression he allowed his children behind closed doors?

Bella
13) Are you ever going to do the estate roundtable episode you’ve been teasing us with for years?

Genevieve Castello Branco
14) Marcos Cabota’s documentary “Sonic Fantasy” is completed, but he’s facing legal issues to release it. Any details about such legal issues, which probably involve Bruce Swedien’s estate?

Bob
15) Off the Wall or Purple Rain?

Captain Blackthorne
16) Which song has Michael’s most impressive vocal performance? My vote it for Earth Song or Billie Jean.
17) Do we know any details about the “lost classical album” that Michael worked on before his passing?

Marni Cochrane
18) Dear Charles, what is the most interesting or surprising thing you learnt about MJ, his life and/or his work while working on the documentary with Taj and other collaborators, which was totally new to you?

Anita
19) How do we manage that Jamon and Elise will be invited to the next Halloween party hosted by the Jackson family?

Dane Thomson
20) What has shaped your views on life throughout your years?

“Oprah”
21) If MJ Estate approached you with an olive branch and ask for your help and input, what are the top 5 list of things that you like to immediately work on and do?

“Billie Jean”
22) Which MJCast special episode is your favorite why?

Constantinos
23) Top 5 guests who you would love to interview in the near future?
24) Would you like one day to create your own visual documentary to combine all your special interviews?

MJJQ
25) Out of each of Michael’s full length solo albums (OTW, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, HIStory and Invincible), could you choose 1 track which is your personal favourite, and on the other hand, an unreleased demo or outtake song which could replace your least favourite track on each album – with short explanations as to why.

“James Brown”
26) Does anyone know what happened to the Vogue documentary that had a preview on YouTube and why it was never released?
27) How do you feel about supposed friends of MJ such as Quincy, some of the Ross family, etc, still openly supporting Oprah? Or do you think Oprah is just so big that it’s career suicide to come out against her?

Kieran Kibble
28) What are your top 3 MJ short films and why? Thanks for all the work you guys do in supporting Michael’s legacy.

Ben
29) What motivates you both to still remain active in the MJ fan community all these years later?

Dorsa
30) If you had to choose one documentary/book that captures the whole essence of Michael Jackson, which one would it be?

Suzie
31) If you had a time machine and could make two trips to the past, one to any MJ performance and one to any moment in Michael’s life where you could use your time to speak with him personally (and maybe warn him of certain things), which moments in time would you choose?

Debi T
32) How do you as hosts of The MJCast who have interviewed several members of the Jackson family feel about reports coming from the bodyguards, Randall Sullivan, and others that Michael’s family were a bunch of grifters during his life and after his death?

Mira Kontar
33) What are the best arguments to make when discussing Michael’s status as the greatest entertainer? I see weak arguments like he makes people faint or he can just stand there and entertain us, which doesn’t hold when discussing skill-set. I have my own answer, but I’d like to hear yours.

Dexter Williams
34) Between catching snippets of the Chauvin trial on television, and seeing discourse and comments about it on social media, I’ve wondered what effect having filmed MJ’s 2005 trial would have had. Do you think, in hindsight, that filming/broadcasting the 2005 trial on television would have hurt or harmed MJ’s reputation as far as the general public is concerned?

Shawn Clarence
35) If you had access to Michael’s vault and could release ONE Definitive Project, what would part/parts of Michael would you showcase and why?
36) Jamon, if you could sit in the studio and watch Michael record a song what would it be?

Additional Links
• The MJCast 063: Q Q&A
• The MJCast 069: C Q&A
• The MJCast 074: J Q&A
The MJCast 099: Leaving Neverland Q&A

Sponsors
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• The MJCast’s official shop. Support The MJCast and Michael Jackson all at the same time by buying some of our merchandise.

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If you have 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. Keep Michaeling!

125: It’s All for Love

Q returns to The MJCast as a guest host for the first time in Season 6, joining Jamon for a massive news and discussion episode! The original MJCast teammates catch up on loads of updates in the world of Michael Jackson, including the sad news of Bruce Swedien’s passing, a couple of (good!) Estate projects, a mountain of recent leaks, new remixes, podcasts, a new fan forum, and more. Plus, the guys discuss updates on the Safechuck court hearing, music from TJ and Paris, and they get into a good old fashioned Estate rant. This episode is sure to please long-time listeners of the show, and introduce newer listeners to the in-depth fan chat for which The MJCast is known.

Discussion Topics
• Bruce Swedien has passed away at age 86.
• Michael Jackson has again earned the position of the year’s highest paid deceased celebrity.
• The Michael Jackson Estate premiered a limited-run of ‘Ghosts’ in high quality on its YouTube channel during Halloween.
• The official Michael Jackson website’s FAQ has been updated.
• They Don’t Care About Us (2020) has premiered on YouTube.
• James Safechuck court case dismissed.
• Musician Daeshard illegally shoots music video at Neverland…and gets caught.
• New music from TJ Jackson and Paris Jackson.
• Greg Spinks has launched his long awaited ‘Behind The Mask’ forum.
• The Leaks have been out of control!
Someone Put Your Hand Out
Man In Black
Turning Me Off
Don’t Believe It
Smooth Criminal (1985 Demo)
Give In To Me (Work Tape)
I Like the Way You Love Me (Acapella)
Faces
Childhood (Work Tape)
• Some great MJ remixes have come out
Michael Jackson – Beat It (Groovefunkel Remix)
Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (Nick* Rad Remix)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Nick* Freestyle Funk Remix)
Michael Jackson – 2 Bad (Nick* Deluxe Long Version)
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (SWG Extended Dance Mix)
The Jacksons – Can You Feel It (SWG Extended Mix)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (SWG Extended Mix Video Version)
• New podcasts
The Genesis of Thriller
MJNewsDigest
Der Michael Jackson Podcast
HIStory in the Mix: The Reboot
The Black Jackson Estate

Sponsors
• Instacart – Convenient, inexpensive, and reliable same-day personal shopping for U.S. and Canada-based #MJFam.
• The MJCast’s official shop. Support The MJCast and Michael Jackson all at the same time by buying some of our merchandise.

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If you have 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!

120: I’ve Found Peace Within Myself

Damien Shields returns to The MJCast as a guest host, joining Elise for a jam-packed news and discussion episode! Damien is a long-time Friend of the Show, author, and Cascio tracks expert. The duo catches up on loads of updates in the world of Michael Jackson, including several new MJ-related books, a new podcast, updates on MJ One and the Robson/Safechuck hearings, Paris Jackson’s debut EP, lots of recently leaked MJ songs, amazing new content for fans from John Cameron, Marcos Cabota, Brad Sundberg, ?uestlove, Single White Glove—and much, much more. Plus, Damien and Elise discuss the Estate’s approach to HIStory25.

Discussion Topics
• New footage from the Bad World Tour live in Los Angeles 1988 has leaked.
• Single White Glove’s Heal the World video has premiered.
• MJFanGirl and The Detail have teamed up to release a new podcast called Michael Jackson Unspun. The latest episode is with Michael Bush’s assistant.
• Pez Jax’s book ‘The Story of HIStory’ is now available for pre-order, and will be officially released on July 20.
• Brice Najar has announced his new book, ‘Blood on the Dance Floor: Let’s Make HIStory in the Mix’.
• Dwayne Swingler, Neverland Valley Ranch supervisor has released a book.
• MJ Memorial Day Live happened on Facebook on June 25th, hosted by the King of Pop Events group. It featured interviews with Travis Payne, Jimmy Locust, Steven Paul Whitsitt and others. You can see the whole series of interviews here
• New Facebook group for online events and fan chat: Michael Jackson Book Club.
• MJ One is currently set to re-open in Las Vegas in early August. Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil is over $1 billion in debt, and is seeking bankruptcy protection. They have laid off 3,500 employees, including Blue Man Group. However, all their non-touring shows plan to re-open as soon as they are allowed to do so.
• Marcos Cabota’s Sonic Fantasy documentary gets a trailer.
• Archival interviews of Michael Jackson’s children have been released on YouTube channel ‘Jacksonology‘, apparently created for a cancelled documentary about MJ.
• Soundflowers’ docuseries, ‘Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn’, streaming on Facebook through the summer. Plus, their debut EP has been released.
• Sia and Paris drama.
• Danny Wu’s Square One has been released on Amazon Prime.
• Charles Thomson has released his first podcast, called Shoebury’s Lost Boys, which details his decade long investigation into one of Britain’s most serious child sex abuse allegations cover-ups.
• Robson and Safechuck trial update. As predicted, Dan Reed was there filming.
• The Jacksons’ video for Can You Feel It gets released on YouTube, as well as Michael Jackson’s HIStory teaser.
• Original versions of some 2007 Ebony photoshoot pics have leaked.
• ?uestlove has streamed three massive Jackson family DJ experiences here, here and here. Full “Quarantine Live DJ Sets” playlist available here.
• John Cameron is about to release his latest episode of #JCsMusicology, which will focus on the Off The Wall era.
• Brad Sundberg has shared his ‘7 Songs, 7 Stories’ series on YouTube as a way to honour ‘MJ Week’ during COVID-19 restrictions.
• So…it’s been a bit leaky lately. See this channel.
• HIStory25 got the Dangerous25 treatment.

Additional Links
• Damien’s website.
• Damien’s excellent book, Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault.

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If you have 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. Stay BAD!

116: We’re All Experts in the Rearview Mirror

Damien Shields returns to The MJCast as a guest host, joining Jamon for our first regular news and discussion episode of Season 6! Damien is a long-time Friend of the Show, author, and Cascio tracks expert. The fellas catch up on loads of updates in the world of Michael Jackson, including the Estate’s #HealTheWorld2020 video, newly leaked MJ vocal snippets, an awkward snafu by Teddy Riley, developments around Dan Reed, good news for Tom Mesereau, a beautiful film-tribute to Michael Jackson’s artistic legacy, and more. Plus, Jamon and Damien ask the question: Could HIStory 25 happen?

Discussion Topics
• Cirque du Soleil temporarily suspends MJOne due to COVID-19.
• French documentary Lettre d’amour à Michael Jackson premieres on YouTube.
• Teddy Riley claims that a previously released vocal cover of the song Joy, sung by MJ vocal impersonator Marcus Williams, is actually a demo he recorded with Michael.
• Michael Jackson’s Privacy acapella has leaked.
• Rodney Jerkins allegedly plays an unreleased Michael Jackson snippet called Rampage during a live stream event.
• Previously unreleased footage of Michael Jackson surfaces at gottahaverockandroll.com
• Dan Reed successfully gains access to film future court proceedings involving Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
• Tom Mesereau is now working as Special Counsel for John Branca, co-executor of the Michael Jackson estate.
• So #HealTheWorld2020 happened.
• Is HIStory 25 going to be a thing?

Additional Links
• Damien’s Twitter page, website, and book, Michael Jackson: Songs & Stories From The Vault.
• Dan Villalobos’ website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Orbits EP on Apple Music and Spotify.

Ad Breaks
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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!

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.

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)

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.comStay BAD!