There is much information being spread about Michael’s working relationship with Sony after his very public condemnation of Sony’s Head of Music Entertaiment – Tommy Mottola in 2002, so let’s examine Michael’s own words and actions. Michael Jackson’s music should never be boycotted in any way shape of form, please read and listen to Michael’s own words in the last video of this post-
Early 2002, under Mottola’s direction, Sony Music suddenly cancelled its promotion of Invincible. The third single, “Butterflies” was due for release in early February, but Sony pulled the single’s commercial release for unknown reasons. The single was released to radio stations and reached number 14 on the US chart and number 2 on the US R&B chart based on radio play alone. Michael was understandabley disturbed about this turn of events and he wasn’t going to take this treatment quietly.
Michael visited London for the “Killer Thriller” party which was to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Thriller’s release-
On June 15, 2002 Michael made his first appearance regarding the Sony affair at a demonstration against Sony in London, U.K. The unprecedented event took place in front of the European offices of Sony Music, in Great Marlborough Street, central London. Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance at the demonstration, standing on the top deck of an open-top sightseeing bus.
Later, Michael gives a speech-
He hold’s up a protest sign that says Sony Kills Music and underneath PROMOTE INVINCIBLE NOW – pls see the sign 3:18
Notice that the sign does not say Boycott Sony… it’s a complaint that Sony is “killing” Michael’s music by not promoting it. Mottola was the Head of Music Entertainment and it was his decision to pull the promotions of Invincible and also to throw obstacles in the release of “What More Can I Give.”
More importantly is the addition of “PROMOTE INVINCIBLE NOW” The essence of the protest WAS the lack of promotion of Invincible. It would not be logical for anyone to assume that boycotting Michael’s music was his intention. PROMOTE INVINCIBLE NOW was not only a demand to Sony/Mottola but also a directive to his fanbase.
Michael said- “When you want to be close to me, listen to the music. The love is stored there and will not die.” Promotion of his music is integral to his legacy, as it is the very vehicle in which he uses to share his love with his fans and his message to the world.
4:42- “Being the artist that I am..at Sony, I’ve generated several billion for Sony .. and they though my mind is always on music..and it usually is…but they never thought that, this performer, myself, would out think them.”
5:36 – “So we can’t let them get away with what they are trying to do.. cause now I’m a free agent ..”
5:48 – “I just owe Sony one more album, it’s just a box set really, with two new songs that I’ve written ages ago……for each album, I write 100-120 songs…so I can do the box set and give them any two songs”
6:20 – “So I’m leaving Sony a free agent … owning half of Sony…. So I own half of Sony’s publishing and I’m leaving them and they’re very angry at me…. I just did good business ya know.”
7:11 – “So the way to get revenge is to try to destroy my album”
7:22 – “But I’ve always said, ya know.. art.. art… good art never dies.”
7:45 – “I love unbreakable.”
7:50- “…and Tommy Mottola is a devil.”
8:31- “Mariah Carey, after divorcing Tommy , came to me crying. Crying so badly I had to hold her. And she said to me.. that “this is an evil man.. and Michael this man follows me .she said ….he taps her phones.. he is very very evil and she doesn’t trust him.. and he is a horrible human being. We have to continue our drive until he’s terminated. We can’t allow him to do this to great artistry.. we just can’t.”
Notice that Michael says “we have to continue our drive until he’s terminated” because getting rid of Mottola was Michael’s goal.. not leaving Sony.
The following month Michael continues his protests in the US-
On July 6th, 2002 at a rally organized by Rev. Sharpton National Action Network in Harlem, Michael spoke of how black artists are not treated fairly by the record companies. Regarding Mottolla, Michael said “he’s mean, he’s a racist, and he’s very, very, very devilish.” He also accused the Sony Music chief of using “the n-word” when speaking about an unidentified black Sony artist. In addition to himself as a victim of the industry, Michael also mentioned several other artists as falling victim, including James Brown, Mariah Carey, and Sammy Davis Jr. “If you fight for me, you’re fighting for all black people, dead and alive” Michael said to the crowd.
After his speech he was approach by Rita Crosby of Fox News where she attempted to misquote him and he corrected her.
He was speaking out publicly against Sony under Mottola’s rule, who he felt was not promoting his Invincible album due to racism. “I didn’t say Sony was racist, I said Tommy Mottola is racist” Listen to the complete video.
Early July 2002, a demonstration by Michael’s fans was held outside Sony’s Headquarters in New York, where fans handed Michael posters while he rode atop a double decker bus in Manhattan-
The poster that a fan had given Michael during the protest entitled the Good, the Bad and the Ugly had Michael’s pic under “Good” and Tommy Mottola’s picture under “Bad” and the “Ugly”. Mottola’s picture was adorned with devilish horns, tail and pitchfork.
Michael’s contract with Sony expired. However, between November 2003 and August 2008, Michael released at least six compilation albums under Sony’s label, Epic or a division of Sony, some of which he was executive producers listed, including Thriller 25 in Feb of 2008.
A “deal” was struck regarding the Thriller 25 .. contract or no contract Michael was compensated for that deal. That means he was working with Sony. So if he was burying the hatchet, who are we to have a vendetta against Sony? It’s very important to listen to Michael’s words so listen to the video at the end of this post. Also, please notice at the bottom of that video it say “courtesy of Sony/BMG” Please also see this Message from Michael, courtesy of Andjustice4some.
Please read this very informative blog by Andjustice4some regarding the collaborations between Michael and Sony following the end of his contract – If MJ Wanted Nothing to Do With Sony, Why Did He
January 9, 2003 Tommy Mottola was forced to resign when the bigwigs in Japan got fed up with his well-known run-ins with artists and the poor bottom line profit performance of Sony.
August 2003- Michael’s 45th Birthday celebration showed that Michael was once again being innovative, creative and in the mode to perpetuate more “healing of the world.”
He announces that he has plans for a new official website, Michael Jackson clothing line, hotels, a fan communication center and other wonderful surprises. He says he wants to make Neverland more accessible to the fans.
7:33 The fans chant “Sony sucks” and Michael listens and then says “I’ve got something to say about that…… I’ll tell you in a second”
the crowd says something inaudible and then at:
7:46 he says “then you’ll know where I stand” Notice he says this with an affirmative nod.
9:40- I’d like to thank you for assisting me in bringing justice to Tommy Mottola. … he points and then walks and swings his fist like a knock out punch. . ..then continues with – this is not a good man..he’s a racist ..he used alot of people’s careers to destroy other people’s careers ..I don’t want to go into names.
Notice he doesn’t say Sony…he emphatically says bring justice to Mottola and points his index finger while speaking. Behaviorially, pointing the finger is used to emphasize a point, so he is making it clear that it’s Mottola … and remember he says “than you will know where I stand” That IS where he stands… it was Mottola that was the issue in Michael’s mind.
0:03 “It was you that put your heart on the line on a world wide basis to support me – you are my soldiers of love.. ..you were always there and I love you forever.”
After thanking his fans for their love and unending support .. he speaks of being in the studio working. He was interested in more short films and even feature films. The audience anti-Bashir chanting and he simply says “he was a rat..he totally deceived all of us” but he didn’t dwell on the past. He was looking ahead. He was worried as always about mentoring young people and was planning to launch a new philanthropic organization, “Go For Your Dreams”. He expected his fans to be ambassadors all over the world and to participate in this new organization.
There’s alway been a grace about Michael Jackson that he exuded and which carried him through hard times in his life, and he mentioned often that he was forgiving. It’s been said by many that he was great at compartmentalizing and perhaps in that way he was able to get on with the business with Sony after Mottola’s ouster. He was already moving on in a positive way .. no where else in that video clip did MJ state that there were any further issues with Sony. In fact, he just went on to say that, as his birthday wish, he wanted his fans to focus on his philanthropic works, and started talking about making a difference as his soldiers of LOVE. He wasn’t waging war.
According to a commentor on Andjustice’s blog – He had produced music after Invincible and it was reported that he was in talks with DefJam and other record labels. For whatever reason, they didn’t pan out. In April of 2006, he entered into an agreement in Bahrain with Abdulla Hamad Al-Khalifa, as part owner of Two Seas Record Label. Later, it was Michael not Al-Khalifa who backed out of the deal. Michael was the decision maker and he decided to not work with Al-Khalifa who by all accounts was funding the endeavor. It was Michael who decided to return to collaborate with Sony and release Thriller 25, contract or no contract.
Michael said – “Being the artist that I am..at Sony, I’ve generated several billion for Sony” and he had acheived this phenomenal success over a 15 year period (23 if you count CBS/Epic’s Off the Wall which was acquired by Sony) . If he’d been unhappy during all of those years why didn’t he seek greener pastures? Had it not been for Mottala’s refusal to promote Invincible, heavy handed attitude and racist remarks, Michael would have been just as content to stay. With Mottola out of the picture, Michael was comfortable and free to return to work with Sony, and that’s exactly what he did.
“It’s my hope that Thriller continues to live on with each new generation to discover. “
If we want Michael Jackson’s music to live on for generations to come then we must Promote Michael’s Music.. Buy Michael’s music.
Find the love, because it’s stored there.
http://www.nme.com/news/nme/13355 Mottola is forced to resign
Japanese exec had enough
Michael other record labels – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,88338,00.html