MTV Supports Revolting and Patronizing Video against Jackson – MJEOL Bullet #210 MTV “losing it” by standing with Eminem’s disgustingly offensive video and song MTV is a “music” station built on the back of Michael Jackson, say observers of the latest controversy dealing with the asinine song and video by pop squeaky-wheel Eminem. For now, the soft-core porn channel–as some smart-alecks like to refer to it—will continue to play the hideous and disgustingly disrespectful Eminem video. Despite BET yanking the garbage from their airwaves, MTV has thus far replied with an insult of their own; claiming Jackson is “losing it” for wanting the video pulled. Jackson has released a statement about this recent situation, saying:

“I am very angry at Eminem’s depiction of me in his video. I feel that it is outrageous and disrespectful. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive. “I’ve admired Eminem as a artist, and was shocked by this. The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family, and the community at large. It is my hope that the other networks will take BET’s lead and pull it.” (see Statements from Jackson and BET Re: Eminem publicity stunt)

This is not shocking coming from MTV, who has been viciously deceitful and disrespectful towards Jackson in the past. What is outright ungrateful is the fact that MTV would not be “MTV” had it not been for Jackson putting the channel on the map with his vast audience base while it was still a fledgling network. The sheer innovativeness and creativity of Jackson’s videos helped increase MTV’s subscriber base and audience exponentially. While some history revisionists my try to claim MTV made ‘Michael Jackson’, most sober people realize that Michael Jackson was “made” through his and his family’s hard work and talent long before MTV ever existed. Before Jackson’s videos from the enormously successful Thriller album in the early 1980s, there was a policy at MTV that no videos from black artists were going to be played on the network. That’s a dirty little fact that MTV does its best not to emphasize nowadays. It took pressure from Jackson—with financial body blows from Jackson’s record label like threats of cutting off sources of revenue and advertisement—for MTV to even play Jackson’s videos. This history has been reported by other artists; everyone from Gladys Knight to Chuck D has verified MTV’s racist policy. Renee Graham of the Boston Globe also highlighted this fact during MTV’s 20th-anniversary in an article titled “MTV at 20: Cable network changed the way the world sees music”. From the article:

MTV wasn’t quite as innovative when it came to black artists. In the beginning, MTV featured a rock format, and African-American musicians from Miles Davis to Rick James to Stevie Wonder were critical of the station’s all-white playlist. By early 1983, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” was the top song in the country, but MTV execs still wouldn’t play the video. As the much-told tale goes, CBS, which owned Jackson’s label Epic, threatened to yank every one of its videos unless “Billie Jean” was added to the rotation. (see MTV: Dirty history of not playing black videos)

The report continues with a quote from Whitney Houston who talked about Jackson being outstanding enough to tear down the wall that kept black artists from being played on MTV:

“I can remember the hassle of introducing black artists to MTV because it was basically sold for white audiences,” recalled Whitney Houston during MTV’s 20th-anniversary retrospective. “But, once again, you had to be outstanding to take down the wall, and Michael Jackson. (see MTV: Dirty history of not playing black videos)

So it looks as if, yet again, MTV is trying to screw one of their founding fathers, so to speak. Or at least keep him eating in the kitchen, while the young bucks are brought out for show-and-tell, if you catch my meaning. This Eminem controversy, of course, isn’t the first time in recent memory that MTV has green-lighted insults and stupidity in relation to Jackson-bashing. In their decision to snatch the crap from their airwaves, Robert Johnson said:

“BET has pulled the video about Michael Jackson by Eminem. BET pulled the video because we feel it is inappropriate to use our network to air a video disparaging Michael’s character, or that of any other celebrity.”

Evidently other people simply don’t care about disparaging Jackson’s reputation. MTV has been masterful in its overall patronizing view on Jackson. It’s not only some of the overly condescending and outright foolish reports through the years from its news division; thanks largely to Madonna-butt-kissing Kurt Loder. MTV’s 2002 Video Music Awards (VMA) took it to another level entirely. Most Jackson fans remember the infamous “Artist of the Millennium” incident with MTV in 2002. Sources say there were definitely promises from the heads at MTV made to Jackson that he would be receiving a special “Artist of the Millennium” award. These sources also say that at the last minute, someone with enough pull–and enough vindictiveness towards Jackson (3 guesses as to who that could be)–called in a favor and had the award honor yanked. Only they did not tell this to Jackson. What they essentially did was promise Jackson something to get him on the show, increase their ratings. Then, they attempted to cover it up by turning it into a big joke and placing all the blame on a “misunderstanding”. Evidently someone forgot to let the website administrator in on the last minute change and cover-up. On MTV’s website the night of the 2002 VMA’s, they posted their news as usual, as you can see from a screenshot on their website taken before they changed it by a writer who was documenting the event that night. From their write-up at the top of the page:

MTV’s 2002 Video Music Awards have come and gone, revealing Eminem and the White Stripes as the big winners of the night. And surprises abounded from Guns ‘N Roses’ blowout finale, James Brown’s duet with Jimmy Fallon, and former New York City Mayor Giuliani’s appearance. And finally Michael Jackson’s unprecedented Artist of the Millennium award. We’ve got the winners, video highlights, exclusive photo coverage and much more for you to peruse.

Jackson being awarded the Artist of the Millennium was also noted in at least one other place on MTV’s website as well that night. MTV claimed that they just wanted to celebrate Jackson’s birthday by giving him a “cake”. Yeah right. I doubt Jackson would have shown up for the program, on the date of his birthday no less, just to receive a cardboard cake and a cheap tacky trinket that looked like it came from a dollar store—a dinky statuette being passed out to everyone backstage that night. He also would not have brought a prepared statement either, if he did not have it on good authority that he was to receive an award from MTV. Oh, but it didn’t stop there. MTV actually allowed actor Jack Black to then spoof the award presentation to Jackson during the 2003 VMA show. Ridiculous. MTV has previously banned artist Beenie Man from performing at an MTV-sponsored concert and from this years VMAs for his remarks about gays. But they have (and had) no problem with the great white hype that is Eminem bashing gays in his lyrics. Putting MTV’s shady, classless and flippant behavior in context, it’s not a surprise that they are siding with Eminem in this latest row…as of now. Hype for the sake of sheer attention does not a legend make; especially in today’s music business. Apparently MTV wants to find this out the hard way For a station that is increasingly becoming more irrelevant in the era of broadband internet, satellite radio, digital cable and web-ready cellphones, it would seem a bad move for MTV to bet the bank on Eminem; an artist whom has yet to prove he has even half of Jackson’s staying power and notoriety. Quite frankly, a lot of people have been beyond the saturation point with Jackson bashing since early Feb 2003 after the Bashir “documentary” and the 2-hour Dateline report about a massively important issue to our national security and American culture: Michael Jackson’s face. …Yes I’m rolling my eyes at the lunacy of that decision. But I digress. Thus, the public–already suffering from a Jackson hate overdose–aren’t taking this Eminem video, and its insinuations of guilt, with a ‘grain-of-salt’ attitude as they did before. Even some who could care less have weighed in the video in a small, informal survey by MJEOL done today (Oct 12 2004). One person says Eminem is “tired and should come up with something better.” Another person called the song “crap” and says the video would be “forgettable if it weren’t for the obvious shot at Jackson”. One lady simply saying “Enough already! I’m sick of people telling me what to think about Michael Jackson, including eminem.” It went on and on like this, with the great majority of people seeing this as a cross between a publicity stunt by Eminem and an inappropriate video. Still another put it simply “Eminem who?” And the all-time best comment I’ve heard so far today about MTV standing by the video: “F*ck MTV. They should change the name to DTV for ‘dumbass’ television’.“ Indeed. Let’s see how dumb they’ll continue to be in the future. Stay tuned. -MJEOL :nav Your comments?

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