Michael Jackson Angry At The Poor Treatment Of Black Artists By Music Industry

In an appearance with New York civil rights leader, Reverend Al Sharpton, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, 43, has lashed out at the music industry’s treatment of black artists, himself included.

“The record companies really do conspire against the artists. Especially the black artists” said the singer to an adoring crowd of around 350 people on Saturday inside Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.

The former boy wonder of the Jackson Five said generations of black musicians have been hurt and manipulated by profit-grabbing record companies, and called attention to his own dispute with label Sony Music.

“When you fight for me, you’re fighting for all black people, dead and alive” Michael said.Michael has called on Sony to release music recorded in a charity effort that followed the September 11 attacks. There have also been charges that Sony Music, owned by Japanese media and electronics giant Sony Corp, failed to properly promote his latest album, ‘Invincible’ which has had disappointing sales.

The dispute has won sympathy from Al Sharpton and lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who have started an initiative against what the two say is the mistreatment of artists of all races and colours by record companies.

The man, who made the “moonwalk” look so cool back then, also targeted Sony Music Entertainment chief, also known as Mariah’s ex-husband, Tommy Mottola, calling him a racist and “devilish”. He accused Tommy of using the “n-word”, which is a highly derogatory racial slur.

“We feel that they are sabotaging the album” said fan Chantal Obrist, who flew down to New York from Switzerland to join the protest.

So what have the Sony people have to say about all this? A Sony spokesman said later on that Michael’s comments were “ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful”. The spokesman said “It seems particularly bizarre that he has chosen to launch an unwarranted and ugly attack on an executive who has championed his career, and the careers of so many other superstars, for many years”.

Charges that record companies have exploited minority artists are neither new nor limited to the King of Pop. Many have argued that African-American musicians have been withheld the riches generated by their creativity and performances for more than a century.

The industry has protected itself by emphasizing the financial risks taken on by record labels when they sign new artists, many of whom fail to make money.

Michael Jackson Demanding Justice For Artists

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson is lending his voice to a coalition demanding “justice” for recording artists.

According to the BBC, the recently formed New-York based National Action Network (NAN) has been set up to investigate incidences of artist exploitation by major record labels.

The NAN has drawn support from infamous celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran and civil rights campaigner the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Michael has released a statement explaining his reasons for joining the coalition. “Record companies have to start treating artists with respect, honour and finanicial justice. Therefore I am proud to join this coalition which represents all artists.”

Meanwhile, Al Sharpton stated that the coalition would attempt to prevent the slave-to-the-record-company mentatility that currently prevails.

NAN will be prepared to work with the Recording Artists Coalition (RAC), which has campaigned for fairer contracts and more oversight into the accounting practices of record companies.

NAN will also use its influence with radio stations to boycott material from companies deemed as treating their artists unfairly.

“The lifeline of any music company is air play”, he commented.

Current plans for NAN include a “summit” of recording artists to debate the issues and high profile meetings with the five major labels, namely Vivendi Universal, Sony, EMI, BMG and AOL Time Warner.

Michael Jackson’s Upcoming Motion Film

Michael Jackson’s new movie will be entitled They Cage Animals At Night. Jackson has joined forces with co-director Bryan Michael Stoller to make his debut as a movie director. The film is based on the book of the same name by Jennings, Michael Burch, which tells the true story of an orphan boy.

Speaking to Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, director Stoller said: ‘Michael always felt that he grew up as an orphan because, in a way, he missed out on his childhood. The boy in the book had a tough time, and Michael related a lot to that. We’re both big kids, and we feel that when it comes to their emotions, we’d be able to draw that out for the big screen.’

While no cast members have yet been decided, the script is currently being worked on. Stoller also revealed that the final draft would be completed by the end of May.

A statement issued by Jackson confirmed the project saying, ‘I feel we have a wonderful team, and I’m looking forward to all of us working together.’Jacko has now finished filming his cameo role for Men In Black 2, due for release in the US on 3 July. The director Barry Sonnerfield has refused to give details on the star’s role, merely saying ‘Michael came in and I showed him where to stand in front of the blue screen. We shot for about five hours.’

However, Will Smith, who will star again in MIB2, indicated in a recent interview that Jackson would play an undercover alien intelligence officer.

And the question I wish to ask is, will Michael contribute to the soundtrack as well? If there’s actually a soundtrack and a theme song, you just know it’ll be huge. Can’t wait for this one.