Theater archives

What’s The Right Tone To Take With Michael Jackson?


I don’t mean skin tone. That would take a whole book to discuss. I mean: What’s the proper balance to strike in addressing his life and legacy? Having been asked to appear on various TV shows to discuss Jacko, I’ve made sure to be truthful but fair, generally saying he was a musical genius and an electrifying performer (in his heyday) but he became overshadowed by his arrested-child fantasy life and bizarre fixations. I also try to point out that while I celebrate freaks and oddities, I don’t appreciate anyone who may have gone beyond the law (though Jackson was never proven to be a criminal, perhaps due to his then-fertile checkbook).

So who has been taking the right tone:

*Usher, who feels any discussion of Michael’s personal habits at this point is strictly tabloidsville.

*Liza Minnelli, who says Michael was “NOT GUILTY!!!” of child molesting, but hints that his death was some kind of ugly mess.

*Or Deepak Chopra, who says he never saw the pedophile behavior (as if Jackson would have done it in front of him), but also states that he DID see Jacko doing way too many prescription drugs that were ruining him, and though he tried to confront the star about it, Michael didn’t want to hear it.

All three agree that Jacko was a magical entertainer, blah blah, but shouldn’t they all be helping us dig into the quirks and vulnerabilities that proved to be his downfall?