Ed. note: We are pleased to invite the hugely accomplished and talented choreographer Vince Paterson for this guest column written in response to the two-part documentary, “Leaving Netherland” now on HBO.
I am repulsed by the number of people ready to nail Michael Jackson to the cross — without the possibility of defense from the grave. Now celebrities are jumping on the condemnation bandwagon based on the words of two men: one who has committed perjury, not as a child but as a 22-year old man, if what he has decided to say now is the truth.
I spent close to 17 years with MJ, through many projects and much intimate time on and off sets. I constantly saw Michael adored one day and condemned the next day for various reasons: sleeping in a hyperbolic chamber, having a monkey as a best friend, having plastic surgery, creating a music video with a message as in Black or White…ad nauseum. I watched him duck and cover from the blasphemous lies spread about him daily. I sat beside him as he sobbed in his trailer, confused as to why people would be so vicious when his only motivation was to create for his fans…to give the world something it had never seen.
I never saw a hint of anything evil or even an inkling of this kind of perversion directed toward any child…or anyone to be perfectly honest. In fact, with the exception of a few celebrities with whom I have collaborated, Michael Jackson was the kindest, most polite, caring, generous person I ever met in the entertainment industry. Ever.
I find it especially horrifying to raise all of this now that Michael Jackson is gone and cannot defend himself. If one of the accusers was motivated to tell all because of his own relationship with his son, why the need to do so publicly? Would it not have been better for the accuser to have dealt with this in an intimate family environment? His son will now be dealing with this for a very long time.
And from a father who loves his son, what about the pain this is bringing to Michael Jackson’s children?
What sort of “justice” are these two men seeking? If any of these stories have validity—I don’t believe they do—why the unmitigated desire “to get the truth out there.” Would these men have done the same if the situations that they claim to be true were committed by an unknown, behind-the-scenes ‘someone’ who worked in entertainment production?
Pointing an accusing finger at a dead person is an easy act, and an especially easy method to obtain a mass of followers when that finger is pointed at a celebrity as controversial as Michael Jackson.
I can’t help but feel these accusers are seeking more than “justice.”
Is it for FAME? Fame is a bizarre creature. It is seductive. It is dangerous. They are receiving that surely.
Is it for SUCCESS? With Oprah and Ellen on the bandwagon, both will probably have more job offers than ever before.
Whether true or false, for me there is no valid reason other than self-aggrandizement to bring these sordid stories to a universal audience. And I cannot help but wonder … why is there a statute of limitations on perjury?
Sorry…but for me it’s #MJINNOCENT
Vincent Paterson has worked on films, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, TV shows and commercials. He was Michael Jackson’s choreographer for iconic numbers including “Smooth Criminal,” “Black or White“, “The Way You Make Me Feel“, “Dirty Diana”, “Speed Demon” and live performances for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and the Grammys.