Steve Van Zandt Reacts To Accusations Of Being Racist After His Michael Jackson Comments

E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt recently shared a post on his official Twitter account, replying to a fan who accused him of being a racist after a misunderstanding his comment on moonwalk and Michael Jackson. The guitarist cleared the air about his statement and said he simply complimented Bill Bailey.

While the King of Pop’s exceptional career has countless admirable aspects, he was also widely praised for his unique dance moves, especially moonwalk. He first introduced his moonwalk dance move on an NBC television special in 1983. After that, it became his signature dance move in his repertoire.

The moonwalk was taught to him by Jeffrey Daniel, and Jackson made it one of the most famous dance figures of the 20th century. Moreover, the musician is credited for coining the name ‘moonwalk’ since the move was previously known as the ‘backslide.’

It’s fair to say that Michael Jackson made an entire career out of the move as he named his autobiography, released in 1988, ‘Moonwalk.’ Furthermore, Jackson released a film named ‘Moonwalker’ in that same year. Since it had become his signature move, the singer also collaborated with Sega for the 1990 arcade game bearing the same name, ‘Moonwalker.’

While Jackson was the one who brought it to the spotlight, he wasn’t the inventor of the moonwalk. In fact, the first person to be recorded doing the moonwalk was a dancer named Bill Bailey in the 1943 movie ‘Cabin in the Sky.’ Recently, a fan shared the footage of him making the ‘backslide’ move on Twitter.

Steven Van Zandt replied to that post via a tweet on his official Twitter account. Little did he know, he started an entire feud with his comment on the video. The guitarist said that one is as cool as the person they steal from, which implied that Michael Jackson stole his move from Bailey and then acted like the inventor.

In his post, Van Zandt penned:

“You’re only as cool as who you steal from…”

A fan commented on his tweet and said that he’s a typical white person who considered other white artists like Elvis Presley original while black artists like Michael Jackson are thieves. After being accused of racism, Steven Van Zandt defended himself by saying that he never stated Jackson invented the move. That’s when another fan said his statement implied that MJ stole the moonwalk from Bailey.

The fan’s tweet follows:

“Typical white. You entire white artists are real steals (Elvis.) MJ never said he invented the moonwalk… He always said he picked it up from black street dancers.”

Steven Van Zandt replied:

“Who said he said he invented it?”

Another fan chimed in:

“You did when you suggested he stole from Bill Bailey.”

After realizing that a number of people misunderstood his first statement, Steven Van Zandt shared his last tweet regarding the issue. According to him, the King of Pop stole the move from somebody as he didn’t invent it, and Van Zandt never said that MJ claimed ownership.

In addition to this, the guitarist stated that what he said was a compliment since Bill Bailey is the official creator of the move, based on the footage we have. Following his explanation, Van Zandt dismissed those who took the matter to a whole new level and asked them to learn some respect.

His final statement reads:

“He absolutely stole the move from somebody. And if can stop projecting for a minute you will realize that what I said was a compliment. He never said he invented it. And I never said he said that. Get it now? Good. Now fuck off and get outta my feed until you learn some respect!”

You can see the tweets below.