An Open Letter to Michael Jackson’s Family
In the early days after Michael Jackson’s death, most fans gave his family the benefit of the doubt as to whether or not they would behave respectfully and honorably, and would protect Michael’s children from the premature celebrity that cost him his own childhood. Now, with a series of fiascos generated by the Jackson family, the affection many fans could have had for them is at an end. We would like for the Jacksons to know exactly why so many fans have serious concerns.
To the Jackson family:
You should plan no more tribute concerts without the full cooperation and support of Michael Jackson’s Estate. However, it is unlikely that they will give you that cooperation and support – and particularly after the ill-conceived and badly timed proposed concert in Wales. Any sort of tribute concert should be left to the Estate to plan and execute – not you. It’s been stated that no less than thirteen Jacksons will either perform or attend the tribute concert. Since this has been advertised as a charity concert, you would be well-advised to give whatever you might earn for performing/attending, to the Estate to donate to charities that Michael supported.
You do not own the right to Michael’s name, image, nor likeness. The Estate does, and the executors are growing the Estate for Michael’s children – not for you. According to the Estate as it’s being managed, you are actually not allowed to use Michael’s name, image, nor likeness for any marketing schemes. You may remember Michael fondly as the brother, son, uncle, and cousin that he was, but please do so quietly, amongst yourselves.
There is no need for you to give tribute concerts for charities in Michael’s name, at all. Michael provided for charities generously, in his will.
There is no need for you to set up a trust fund for Michael’s children. The Estate IS their trust fund, and they will be some of the wealthiest people in the United States, without your help.
There is no need for you to attempt to preserve Michael’s legacy. He achieved his globally recognized legacy without you. In a professional sense, preserving his legacy is what the Estate is for, and they are doing just that. The best way you can protect the legacy of this great man, is to behave properly and respectfully, and to pursue your own lives and careers.
You seem not to comprehend the terms of Michael’s will, and your place in it – which is nowhere. Michael’s mother, Katherine, will continue to receive a generous stipend, but the Estate is not her money. It belongs to Michael’s children.
Michael Jackson’s fans are not your fans. If they had wanted to be fans of other Jackson family members, they would have done so when Michael was still alive. The fans are not an already-planted crop to be harvested by you, as an income for you, and their fandom does not transfer to the family automatically — if at all.
You continue to squabble amongst yourselves, but in a very public way. Please work out your differences in private, and refrain from tweeting your arguments for all to see. Your quarreling is undignified, and should be resolved within the privacy of the family.
You are not actually a dynasty, nor are you royalty with a kingdom. There is only one living Michael Jackson sibling with a high-level career. That is Janet, and she earned it. The rest of you would be wise to pursue your own projects and careers. Modesty is a virtue, and describing yourselves as a dynasty has become an embarrassment.
Michael’s wishes for the parenting of his children should be respected. He lost his own childhood due to premature celebrity, and he tried very hard to protect his children from that same loss. They are not bait, for any money-making enterprises of yours. They need to be loved and supervised until they are of the ages to make their own choices about whether or not to have public lives. The Jackson family can best preserve Michael’s legacy by raising his children according to his choices when alive.