147: The Big British Q&A

It’s been quite a while since the team’s last Q&A episode, and this round features three of our favorite Brits in the fan community: Charles Thomson, Samar Habib, and Charlie Carter. With nearly 100 questions received, the guys tackle a wide range of topics, from the allegations, to Taj Jackson’s documentary project, to favorite Michael Jackson books, insights on MJ’s lyrics and politics, and much more. A huge thank-you to all those listeners who submitted questions! We wish we could have gotten to them all. Grab yourself some tea and biscuits and enjoy this deep-dive fan chat.

Questions
Emma (Twitter) – South Wales, UK
1) Aside from the Brett Barnes episode (which I think everyone needs to listen to at least once), what would be your Top 3 episodes that a new listener (but lifelong MJ supporter) should listen when delving into previous MJCast podcasts? Emma.

GNTalk (Twitter)
2) Sorry – allegation question. Do the guys think there will ever be a day when one of the accusers, JC in particular, may come public and give their true account?

Dane Thomson (Twitter) – Brisbane, Australia
3) Are British tabloids worse than American tabloids? If so, why do you think this is?

Sydni Taylor (email)
4) Taj said on his Livestream earlier this year that he still believes Jordan Chandler will come forward, do you think Taj is saying this because he contacted Jordan or is it just wishful thinking. Do you believe Jordan will ever come forward. I personally don’t think he’ll ever tell his story.

Rob Seymour (Facebook) – Watford (Near London), UK
5) I’d be interested to know how things worked with regards to the 93 Chandler extortion attempt, if it was actually reported to the Police and whether they actually investigated it? Also Was it part of the settlement that the extortion charge was dropped? And how would that work as you cannot pay someone off to stop them testifying so how would it be legal to drop the extortion charges?

Dr. Andrew Greene (Twitter) – United States
6) My question is for Samar. Samar, I follow you on social media and admire the fact that you aren’t afraid to get a little political. Michael Jackson transcended a lot of barriers, one of those barriers was politics as is evident by his fans from around the world and people around him. From rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush, to performing for Bill Clinton at his inauguration and later the Democratic Party, to being beloved by those in countries like communist Russia. What is it about Michael Jackson that you believe attracts people from all political spectrums to Michael Jackson? Also, do you believe that Jackson’s music reveals an evolution of his own [political] beliefs as he got older?

Kris (Twitter) – Kansas, USA
7) Yes, if a gun was at your head, what do you guys think are the top 3 MJ songs that never had videos that absolutely HAVE to be turned into videos? Kris from the US.

Andrew Gray (email) – Chicago, USA
8) What are your favorite MJ books?

MJUnreleasedMix (Twitter)
9) How different do you think the last decade of Michael’s life would have been if the bridge collapse in Munich ’99 at MJ & Friends never happened? If he isn’t on painkillers, does the Bashir documentary still happen? The trial? This Is It? Might he still be here today?

Eva (email) – Amsterdam
10) Hey MJ friends! This is Eva from Amsterdam. I have a very specific question but it’s been on my mind for a while and I’m curious to hear your thoughts about it. Do you believe that the song Morphine was a cry for help? And are you aware if anyone responded to that at the time? I remember when the Blood on the Dance Floor album came out I thought “oh, that’s a cool and interesting song,” but I thought nothing else of it (granted, I was only 12 years old at the time). Also throughout my later years as a fan I never looked for a deeper meaning behind it. After Michael’s death, the song suddenly seemed like an ominous foreboding. The extent of MJs addiction to pain killers was widely exposed after he died and some of the lyrics in the song sounded like he predicted his own death and also talked about his own struggle with addiction during his lifetime. “A heart attack, baby”, “Demerol, oh god he’s taking Demerol”; “He’s tried / Hard to convince her / To be over what he had / Today he wants it twice as bad / Don’t cry / I won’t resent you / Yesterday you had his trust / Today he’s taking twice as much / Demerol”, “Relax / This won’t hurt you / Before I put it in / Close your eyes and count to ten /Don’t cry / I won’t convert you / There’s no need to dismay / Close your eyes and drift away”. Those last lines could even be the soundtrack to the scene between ‘doctor’ Murray and MJ in the moments before he died. Looking back, it feels like Michael may have written this song with great self-awareness and consciousness of his addiction. Could this have been a way for him to ask for help? As far as I am aware he never spoke publicly about the extent of his addiction and from what I’ve learned he also kept people who were close to him away from it. And then suddenly he releases this song, which in retrospect seems to be fully autobiographical. Do you know if after he wrote and released this song, there was anyone reaching out to him about it or asking about it? Or was everyone just like me, “hey that’s a cool song bro” and that’s it. When I imagine the loneliness he must have felt if that was indeed the case, it breaks my heart. Imagine sharing your darkest problems in a song (and how desperate you must be to do so, especially as such a public figure) and no one responds to it. Curious to hear your thoughts! I’m also sending this question to Brad Sundberg btw because he may have a perspective on whether anyone in the studio heard any alarm bells when they recorded this song. Warm regards and thank you so much for all the great episodes, Eva.

Rachel Doosti (email) – Dubai
11) Hi Jamon, You and Elise are doing a phenomenal job, love love love the direction of the podcast. Thank you so much to both of you for taking the time and providing great episodes with small children, full-time jobs, and family life. Bless you, both. I recall in one of the episodes Charles went to US and was helping Taj for his doc and reviewing materials and he shared da story of a video of Michael dancing with Jermaine while having a bandage on his nose but he did not share anything else with us. If it is not an intrusion, I love to have more insights on what he saw and reviewed in that trip and share more insights with us. Best Rachel Doosti

David Edwards (email)
12) Here’s my question for Charles Thomson: Are you still involved with Taj Jackson’s documentary “Re-Righting HIStory”, and if so, can you give any updates on its status? Thanks, David Edwards.

Anonymous (email) – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
13) Why do you think it is that fans invest so heavily in the reporting of Roger Friedman around certain subjects (like the allegations) given that Michael publicly denounced his journalistic integrity while accusing Friedman of writing what Michael described as “vicious and untrue stories in an attempt to destroy my image” throughout the last decade of Michael’s life? Moreover, since Michael’s death Friedman has spent 12 years relentlessly perpetuating the lies of Eddie Cascio, James Porte, Sony and the estate regarding their fake songs, during which he has used his platform to call fans “deranged, bitter, stupid, nuisances” and Michael’s family “greedy and jealous.” Why do fans hold this man up so highly regarding some topics given his egregious conduct on others?

Emmet (email) – Ireland
14) Hi lads, I’ve always been fascinated with the cancelled HBO December 1995 show that MJ had planned but obviously didn’t happen. We always had the visual of MJ performing in stadiums to a sea of people, but I’m sure there is a large proportion of MJ’s fanbase that would’ve loved to have seen a more intimate, less pomp and circumstance concert that focused on his singing ability rather than the usual MJ style that we got from the Bad to History world tours. From what I understand, this concert was going to be just that, and it’s always been a sore spot for me that we never got to see it. Does any of the panel know if any footage exists of MJ rehearsing for that show? We all know he recorded nearly everything relating to his performances, so perhaps there is something in a vault somewhere? Why was the show never rescheduled? Was he unhappy with the production of it? I always wished he’d done a stripped down show, but unfortunately it was never to be. Long-time listener and love the show, keep up the great work! Emmet, Ireland

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
15) Charlie and Samar. You’ve both spoken about Invincible before, with Charlie being critical of the album and Samar being supportive of it. Is there some common ground that could be reached?

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
16) Charlie and Samar. Similarly to my Invincible question, you’ve both got very different opinions on Janet Jackson as an artist. Again, could some common ground be reached?

Seány (Twitter) – Russia
17) I felt the discussion reg #MJtheMusical on a past ep was rather unfair & I disagreed with almost 100% of the guests review (I had seen the show 3 times by the time that particular ep had aired) Since its continued successes & accolades, are you more inclined to now want to see it?

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
18) Charlie, you told me once that you wish you’d had a chance to speak on the episode Elise, Q and Björn did together about whether Michael was a gay icon. Tell me your thoughts.

Jamon Bull – Brisbane, Australia
19) Carter. What was it like looking down on Neverland while flying over it? How much would you like to walk the grounds of Neverland one day?

Mookie864 (Instagram)
20) My question is for CET. Charles, after finishing your Podcast, ‘Unfinished’, last year, I was left feeling like there may be more coming in the future. Can you reveal if you are still investigating the Shoebury topic and if there will be a season 2?

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Additional Links
• TheMJCast 063: Q Q&A
• TheMJCast 069: C Q&A
• TheMJCast 074: J Q&A
• TheMJCast 099: Leaving Neverland Q&A
• TheMJCast130: An Evening With Charlie and Jamon

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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!

140: Season Seven Christmas Special

Elise Capron, Jamon Bull, Charlie Carter, Charles Thomson and Taj Jackson join forces to celebrate the holidays and reflect on this past year… Welcome to The MJCast’s annual Christmas Special!

Before getting into the bulk of the discussion topics, Jamon breaks the wonderful news that he and his wife Li are expecting Baby #2! The MJCast sends a special congratulations to Jamon, Li and Olivia.

The crew then discuss loads of news updates and developments in the world of Michael Jackson, including a new Jackson 5 music video, never-before-seen Dangerous album cover concept art and “MJ: The Musical” reviews. Conversation then shifts to looking back on the year that was, some of Taj’s unique stories and options MJ fans have when they want to respond to Twitter ‘blue ticks’ who drag Michael.

We would like to give a special thank you to the incredibly professional and hard working Charlie Carter for editing Season Seven of our podcast. Also, thank you to our amazing listeners for all your support throughout the year and hope that you enjoy our episodes coming up in Season Eight! Happy holidays, #MJFam!

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Discussion Topics
• The Jackson 5 Christmas song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” has received a new animated music video from Motown.
• Aerial photos of Neverland with new rides have surfaced.
• Mark Ryden has shared never-before-seen early concept art for the Dangerous album cover.
• Polo G has released an original song and video that’s a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal.
• “MJ: The Musical” review roundups. What seems to be the consensus? New York Times review. Bobby Huntley II review. Show’s cancelled now due to COVID.
• 2021: The year that was
• ‘Blue ticks’ that drag Michael. Should we call them out or starve them of attention? James Hall of The Telegraph tweeted this. Seany and Annika at MJInnocent called it out publicly through quoting it. Andy Healy expressed an alternate response, that of starving the journalist of attention. What’s the right thing to do? Call things out, or not?

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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!

136: Living My Danish Gay Life

In this regular episode, host Elise Capron is joined by Q, as well as returning guest, Bjørn Hannibal. After Elise drops some huge news, the trio discusses a mega-roundup of news in the world of Michael Jackson. From MJ birthday events around the world, updates on Estate projects (such as MJ One, the MJ Broadway musical, and merch drops), a BAD World Tour audio leak, the passing of Luther Jackson and Walter Yetnikoff and a teaser for the Janet Jackson documentary, this episode is jam packed! Plus, Elise moderates a discussion around the topic of Michael Jackson and the LGBTQIA+ community, and whether we should view MJ as a queer icon.

This episode was edited by Charlie Carter.

Discussion Topics
• Lots of great MJ birthday events happened all around the world, including in Las Vegas, Kingvention’s Burn This Disco Out party in London, the return of Brad Sundberg’s In The Studio events, and much more!
• The Estate has released Neverland merch.
• The full casting has been announced for the Broadway MJ musical, as well as additions to the creative team. (Though, apparently they have not yet found their “young Michael”.)
• Taj Jackson’s heartfelt GoFundMe update.
• The full soundboard audio of the entire BAD Tour show in Los Angeles, 1989, has been released on YouTube.
• Questlove shares never-before-seen Triumph tour footage on his Instagram page.
• MJ Halloween party coming.
• The Netherlands HIStory statue is still looking for a new owner.
• Michael Jackson-inspired K-Pop music video.
• Michael Jackson’s uncle, Luther Jackson, passes away.
• Walter Yetnikoff died.
• Tito’s new album, Under Your Spell, has been released, and it’s great.
• Janet Jackson has released a teaser for a documentary about her life, coming January 2022 and announced a new album and single.

Main Discussion Topic
• Michael Jackson and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Additional Links
• Paris and Willow chat in a Red Couch interview.
• Who is Paris Jackson? Facebook series.
• GoFundMe for a victim of Hurricane Ida, who lost his home.
• Two great essays about rumors around MJ releases, and how to “be a part of the solution, not the problem!”

Connect with Us
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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!

127: Season Six Christmas Special

Taj Jackson, Charles Thomson, and Q join forces to celebrate the holidays and reflect on this past year… Welcome to The MJCast’s annual Christmas Special!

Before getting into the bulk of the discussion topics, Taj breaks the incredible news that he and his wife Thayana are expecting Baby #2! The MJCast sends a special congratulations to Taj’s whole family.

The guys then discuss loads of news updates and developments in the world of Michael Jackson, including a new book by Brice Najar, the launch of a virtual edition of Kingvention, updates with Vera Serova’s lawsuit as well as the Estate’s lawsuit against HBO, a new version of the online documentary ‘Loving Neverland’, and a new film project by Jin Chohan. Plus, Taj goes into detail about progress and plans for his documentary project, ‘The Truth Runs Marathons’. This episode is full of amazing fan and Jackson Family chat, reflections on the highs and lows of this past year, and hopes for 2021.

Also, while Jamon and Elise are not able to be on this episode, they give huge thanks to Q, Charlie, and Taj for making this episode possible and for wrapping up Season 6 of The MJCast. Thanks, guys!

We also want to thank our listeners for all your support throughout the year and hope that you enjoy our episodes coming up in Season 7! Happy holidays, #MJFam!

Discussion Topics
• Brice Najar’s ‘Book on the Dance Floor: Let’s Make HIStory in the Mix’ has been released.
• Big news! Taj Jackson and his wife, Thayana Sco Jackson, are expecting their second child!
• Kingvention went online this year with KV:Global, a three hour global Michael Jackson convention including interviews with Jean-Marie Horvat and Bill Bottrell.
• Vera Serova’s lawsuit against Sony Music and the Michael Jackson Estate has received support from key consumer protection groups.
• HBO has lost their appeal against the #MichaelJackson Estate in the ongoing ‘Leaving Neverland’ lawsuit.
• ‘The Truth Runs Marathons’ update from Taj. You can help support his documentary here.
• An improved version of ‘Loving Neverland’ with non-automated narration has been released. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4.
• Jin Chohan is raising money money for a documentary in support of Michael’s innocence called ‘Trial By Media: The Michael Jackson Story’.

Sponsors
• Audible – Great audiobooks. Great a free one-month trial (including one free audiobook) and help support the podcast by using our custom MJCast promo link.
• 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!

121: The New Adventures of Charlie Thomson

Charles Thomson returns to The MJCast, joining Jamon Bull for a massive catch-up on everything the investigative journalist has been up to since the release of Leaving Neverland a year and a half ago. The duo discuss Charlie’s whirlwind year, from winning national journalism awards in the UK while simultaneously losing his job, being hired for a podcast, and unexpectedly becoming the central narrator in Danny Wu’s 1993 allegations documentary, Square One. They cover back-and-forth trips to Los Angeles (featuring a cameo by Helen Mirren!), restaurant-hopping with Tom Mesereau, parties at Hayvenhurst, an HBO court hearing, and much more. And finally, Charlie talks about being hired for a Larry Nimmer documentary, and launching his own true crime podcast, Unfinished: Shoebury’s Lost Boys. It’s been an epic year for Charlie, to be sure.

Discussion Topics
• Leaving Neverland has won a BAFTA.
• Charlie’s amazing year.

Additional Links
• Charlie’s Twitter and website.
• Charlie’s new true crime podcast, Unfinished: Shoebury’s Lost Boys.
• Danny Wu’s documentary, Square One. (You can read The MJCast review of the film and see photos from the LA film premiere here.)

Sponsors
• Audible – Great audiobooks. Great a free one-month trial (including one free audiobook) and help support the podcast by using our custom MJCast promo link.
• 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!

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)

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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!

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.

101: Taryll Jackson Special

Q and Jamon are thrilled to welcome special guest Taryll Jackson to the show! Taryll is the second son of Tito Jackson and Delores ‘Dee Dee’ Martes, member of 3T, and an amazing solo artist. His new album, “Crazy Love”, has recently dropped, and the guys couldn’t be more excited to chat with Taryll about his new music, upcoming shows, and his incredible music-royalty family.

In this discussion, Taryll shares amazing stories with the guys about growing up playing music with his bothers, Taj and TJ, what it was like to experience the mega-success of 3T, how he moved into the recording and production side with 3T’s most recent album as well as remixing other artists’ music, and how he’s continued to evolve with his solo work. He also goes into personal accounts of what it was to deal with the sudden, tragic loss of his mother, the positive and negative of being part of such an iconic family, and touches on the never-released 3T album. Taryll, Jamon and Q also delve into a discussion on the posthumous reality of Michael Jackson and the fraudulent Cascio tracks which he blew the whistle on in 2010. And, of course, Taryll shares memories of growing up with his father, Tito, and his uncle, the King of Pop.

The MJCast is honored to consider Taryll a Friend of the Show, and hopes that listeners get a chance to hear his new album and see him in concert!

Additional Links
• Tickets for Taryll’s first-ever solo concert, on June 8 in the Netherlands.
• Taryll Jackson’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
• Taryll’s new album, “Crazy Love”, on iTunes, Google Music, and Spotify.
• 3T albums on iTunes, Google Music, and Spotify.
• The Dee Dee Jackson Foundation, which “thrives to provide an outlet for those who have suffered a loss in life. The mission of DDJF is to connect those who have a commonality in grief and provide a safe space to share stories, advice, and build a community in which no one feels alone.”
• “The Power of Love” radio show/podcast.
• Taryll’s management company, Tobing Agency.

Music Breaks
• 3T – Why (feat. Michael Jackson) [DW Bonus Mix]
• Taryll Jackson – Make You Mine on Apple Music
• Taryll Jackson – Best of All Time on Apple Music

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!

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
• Q (Host of The MJCast)
• Jamon Bull (Host of The MJCast)
• Charles Thomson (Award-winning investigative journalist and Legal Correspondent for The MJCast)
• Taj Jackson (Member of 3T, son of Tito Jackson and nephew to Michael Jackson)
• Marcos Cabotá (Film director best known for his Star Wars documentary, I Am Your Father)
• Samar Habib (Michael Jackson Academia Project)

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
• Taj Jackson’s GoFundMe campaign
• Marcos Cabotá’s documentary I Am Your Father on iTunes and Netflix
• The MJCast: Episode 094 – Harrison Funk Special
• Jermaine Jackson’s appearance on Good Morning Britain
• Michael Jackson and Wade Robson: The Real Story
• Joseph Vogel’s Forbes article What You Should Know About the New Michael Jackson Documentary
• RazörFist’s The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 1) and Defaming the Dead: The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 2)
• Macaulay Culkin’s appearance on the Inside of You podcast
• Taj Jackson’s interview around Leaving Neverland on Sunrise
• Mary Fischer’s GQ article Was Michael Jackson Framed?
• FBI files pertaining to their ten-year investigation into Michael Jackson
• The MJCast – Episode 058: Vindication Day Special (Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations)

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!

083: Reflections on Joseph Jackson Roundtable

On June 27th, 2018, the patriarch of the Jackson family, Joseph Walter Jackson, passed away. Jamon and Q welcome return guest Taj Jackson to discuss memories of his grandfather, and to set the record straight regarding the way the way the media has handled news of Joe’s passing. For this very special roundtable episode, the guys are also joined by The MJCast’s Jackson Family Correspondent, Janneke van der Linden, and Legal Correspondent, Charles Thomson.

Joe Jackson, also known as ‘The Hawk’, started life with a rough childhood in Arkansas. He married Katherine Scruse, and fathered ten children with her, all while working two jobs, one at a steel mill and another as a welder, imbuing his children with a love of music and performance. Joe quickly started managing his son’s blossoming musical careers, and, though he became known for ruling the group with an iron fist, loved ones say his fire only sprang from wanting the very best for his children. He pushed his sons to achieve greater and greater heights, from local talent shows, to national competitions, to Steeltown Records, Motown, and international stardom.

Joe was a complex and sometimes controversial figure, but he is remembered now, by his family members, for his amazing will and the sacrifices he made to help his sons reach incredible levels of success. He was also there for his son, Michael, through many of the hardest years of his life, particularly during the 2005 trial and in the lead up to Michael’s ill-fated This Is It tour.

The MJCast’s entire team offer their condolences to the Jackson family on their loss, and thank Taj for sharing his memories. May Joe rest in peace.

Additional Links
Taj Jackson’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages
Charles Thomson’s Facebook, Twitter and website
• Janneke van der Linden’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages and Website
• The MJCast – Episode 020: Taj Jackson Special on themjcast.com and Apple Podcasts
• The MJCast – Episode 050: Tito Jackson Special on themjcast.com and Apple Podcasts
• Michael Jackson’s 2001 Oxford University speech
• Joseph Jackson’s 2014 TV One interview

Ad & Music Breaks
The Jacksons – I’ll Be There (Live at Motown 25)
• Michael Jackson – To Make My Father Proud on YouTube and Apple Music

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!