Quantcast

THE REVEREND AL MOONWALKS BACKWARDS

Sharpton Calls Jackson’s Attacks on Sony Music Boss "Unfair and Unfounded"
Even a master of confrontation like Reverend Al Sharpton was taken aback by his pal Michael Jackson’s shenanigans last week.

The Rev told the N.Y. Post that Jackson’s comments during his cross-town bus tour last Saturday, in which he attacked Sony Music’s Tommy Mottola as "racist," were both "unfair and unfounded."

"I have known Tommy for 15 or 20 years, and never once have I known him to say or do anything that would be considered racist," said Sharpton, admitting he was "surprised" by Jackson’s verbal assault. "In fact he’s always been supportive of the black music industry. He was the first record executive to step up and offer to help us with respect to corporate accountability, when it comes to black music issues."

Jackson rented a bus on Saturday, which traveled from Sharpton’s headquarters in Harlem through the East Village to Midtown, where Jackson launched his tirade against Sony and Mottola to a throng of perhaps 150 members of his fan club. He held up posters of Mottola with devil horns and accused the exec of describing another black artist with a racial slur.

Some label execs are speculating Jackson wanted to get out of his Sony recording contract without repaying millions of dollars in promotional fees he may not have. He also blasted the company’s handling of his latest album, Invincible, his first album of new material since 1995, which has sold 2 million in the U.S. Jackson is also a partner in the joint publishing venture Sony/ATV, which includes songs by the Beatles. Some feel Sony may try to force Jackson to give up his rights to the catalog in exchange for the money he is said to owe his label, Epic.

RIAA chief Hilary Rosen says Jackson’s involvement with Sharpton’s new coalition to fight for the rights of recording artists is disingenuous. "In Michael Jackson, they have not found a race issue or an oppression issue. Given how many millions he has made, particularly this year, his attacks lack credibility."

Other industry execs agreed with Rosen’s assessment. Said Interscope black music exec Steve Stoute: "To call Tommy Mottola a racist is just ridiculous. He’s one of the biggest supporters of black music I know."

Courey Rooney, who has produced Sony acts like Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child and Marc Anthony, told the Post: "Michael Jackson playing the race card is a cop-out, a last-resort move by a guy who is frustrated that his big project didn’t work."

Insiders say Jackson wanted Sony to pay for another video and support a world tour for Invincible, but the company reportedly refused after spending up to $60 million in producing and promoting it.

The Jackson offensive coincides with Sharpton’s own plans for a big racism-in-music summit conference being held in New York tomorrow, though he says he intends to keep Michael's "person issues" separate from the "broader industry issues," adding he "stands firmly behind" Jackson’s broad views on the music business.

BELLA SETS WARNER VID RECORD, HITS THE SPOT (UPDATE)
New and massive (5/17a)
OLIVIA ROCKS THE STREAMS
Coming-out party for a rockstat (5/17a)
WE’VE LOOKED AT CLIVE FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: GRAMMY PARTY PART 2
He's ageless and tireless. (5/17a)
WANT FRIES WITH
THAT HITS LIST?
It's a metaphor. (5/17a)
NEW RELEASES: STILL A COLE WORLD
Dude, that's some vertical leap. (5/17a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)