When Michael Jackson Apologized For His Controversial Music Video
Though the songs were only seen as a combination of lyrics, sounds, and performance of the singer before technological advancement, the concept of making music drastically changed in the music industry. After televisions and the tv channels’ broadcasts became more and more available for almost everyone, music videos became inseparable and essential parts of the songs, which created another field for artists to express themselves.
Therefore, the musicians and bands began competing to release the best and most influential music videos to gain more popularity and commercial success. Some are so well-written and directed that people often define these videos as short movies. While talking about clips, it’s impossible not to pay tribute to the late singer Michael Jackson whose groundbreaking videos were viewed and praised by millions of people, but one of them received criticism.
What’s The Story Of Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White?’
Michael Jackson released his eighth studio album entitled ‘Dangerous’ on November 26, 1991, and it got critical acclaim with its unforgettable lyrics and sounds. The album’s songs, ‘Can’t Let Her Get Away,’ ‘Heal the World,’ ‘Black or White,’ and ‘Who Is It’ became trendy worldwide. Also, Jackson collaborated with Slash, Heavy D, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, and Wreckx-n-Effect. He combined various styles, such as funk, hip hop, electronica, gospel, and rock.
The King of Pop drew attention to many striking themes such as racism, poverty, and the welfare of children in his record. For instance, ‘Black or White’ focuses on the subject of constant racist behaviors toward people of color, especially African Americans. The famous singer wanted to highlight that it’s not about being black or white; it’s about being human. The song’s music video was as groundbreaking as the lyrics, with a bit of controversy surrounding its ending.
Why Did Michael Jackson Apologize For The Clip Of ‘Black Or White?’
The clip starts with ‘Home Alone’ star Macaulay Culkin, who is dancing and listening to rock music, but his father wants him to stop. So, he plays the guitar so loud that the boy sends his father to space. Then, it continues with Jackson and dancers from different cultures and ethnicities, a Sri Lankan Tamil Odissi dancer, African Zulu hunters, traditional Thai dancers, and Plains Native Americans performance together.
At the end of the video, a black panther appears and morphs into Michael Jackson; he begins performing his iconic dance moves. Also, he grabs his crotch, damages cars, and breaks windows which received negative reviews from some audiences and critics. The final scene was ‘The Simpsons’ cameo featuring Bart and Homer Simpson. They criticized the musician, saying that he’s normalizing destructive behaviors for children.
Consequently, Jackson released a statement and said he never wanted to influence children in that way and apologized for this music video of ‘Black or White.’ He added that he didn’t aim to hurt any viewer with this clip. The channels removed the last four minutes and another version with CGI graffiti on the windows, ‘Hitler Lives,’ ‘Nigger Go Home,’ ‘No More Wetback’ written on it.
Here’s what Jackson said about the video:
“It upsets me to think that ‘Black or White’ could influence any child or adult to destructive behavior, either sexual or violent. I’ve always tried to be a good role model and therefore have made these changes to avoid any possibility of adversely affecting any individual’s behavior. I deeply regret any pain or hurt that the final segment of ‘Black or White’ has caused children, their parents, or any other viewers.”
You can watch the video below.