Michael Jackson Once Called Eminem Out Over ‘Disrespect’: ‘He Should Be Ashamed of Himself’
Years ago, he did something that offended Jackson and it caused the King of Pop — and Stevie Wonder — to speak out against him for being disrespectful toward him and his family.
Eminem parodied Michael Jackson in a video
Eminem released his Encore album in 2004, and it featured the lead single “Just Lose It,” a song with lyrical references to the molestation accusations against Michael Jackson. The accompanying video mocked the 1984 incident where Jackson’s hair caught fire during a Pepsi commercial.
Eminem dressed as Jackson for the skit, imitated his dance moves, and performed his own reenactment of the fire scenario with a moment where he dunked his head into a toilet. He also parodied MC Hammer and Madonna, but the Jackson-centric scenes drew the musician’s ire.
Michael Jackson offended by Eminem’s actions
At the time Eminem’s video came out, Jackson was under investigation for child molestation charges and heading to trial in 2005. It was a case that caught the nation’s attention, but Jackson was irritated by Eminem’s treatment in the music video.
Geraldo Rivera interviewed the late music legend for Fox News and asked how he felt about “Eminem and the disrespect that he showed” him. “I’ve never met Mr. Eminem and I’ve always admired him,” Jackson said.
“And to have him do something like that was pretty painful as an artist to another artist and it’s sad. I think what Stevie Wonder said is true and I just don’t want to say too much more than that. But he should be ashamed of himself. Stevie said he’s bulsh*tting is what he said,” he added and deemed Eminem as wrong.
Jackson spoke about his own longevity in entertainment and noted he never made a habit to slam others. “I’ve been an artist most of my life, doing what I do, and I’ve never attacked another fellow artist. Great artists don’t do that,” said Jackson.
According to The Guardian, Jackson also told a Los Angeles radio station that Eminem disrespected him, his family, and the community. BET wound up pulling the video from its lineup.
What Stevie Wonder said about Eminem
Before Jackson addressed Eminem’s actions, Stevie Wonder commented on the Detroit rapper’s parody in a 2004 interview with Billboard. Snippets of the chat were preserved by Entertainment Weekly, and the outlet reported on Wonder’s defense of Jackson.
“Kicking someone when he’s down is not a good thing,” said Wonder. “I have much respect for his work, though I don’t think he’s as good as 2Pac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level,” said the singer of Eminem.
“He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of color,” Wonder continued. “So for him to come out like that is bullsh*t.”
Eminem would later go on to tell MTV that his song and video were meant to be a joke about Michael Jackson, not a diss.