Published November 12, 2004
NEW YORK – Pop superstar Michael Jackson (search) decried rapper Eminem and music channel MTV in an exclusive interview with FOX News over a music video that makes Jackson look guilty of child molestation.
Jackson told FOX's Geraldo Rivera Thursday that he supports fans who protested MTV (search)because of the channel’s refusal to yank the Eminem video ridiculing the flamboyant, self-proclaimed "King of Pop."
"I decided that rather than have anyone speak for me, I would do it myself," Jackson said by telephone during Thursday's demonstration by fans outside MTV's offices in Times Square. "I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart ... I love them so, so much."
The video for Eminem’s (search) song “Just Lose It” — which Rivera characterized as a "savage, even racist parody" — shows the rapper dressed like Jackson, jumping around and singing to a group of boys in the background, "Come here, little kiddie, on my lap. Guess who’s back with a brand new rap."
“I think it’s demeaning and disrespectful,” Jackson told FOX News. “It’s not just about Michael Jackson but a pattern of disrespect that he's shown to our community. He needs to stop it, and he needs to stop it now."
Rapper Eminem, with hits including "The Real Slim Shady" and the Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself," has become famous for controversial, provocative songs and music videos. Before last week's presidential election, he had another firestorm on his hands with his anti-Bush video for the song "Mosh."
The 32-year-old Detroit native is also a father, and recently told Rolling Stone magazine that along with daughter Hailie Jade, 9, he is raising his 8-year-old niece Alaina and his 18-year-old half-brother Nate.
Jackson was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor and other offenses a year ago, and the case has dogged him ever since — though the trial has yet to begin.
Known for his bizarre antics, Jackson has pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara County, Calif., to child molestation, conspiracy and administering alcohol to an underage companion. He is free on $3 million bail.
In "Just Lose It," Eminem pokes fun at Jackson’s surgically altered nose (it falls off during a concert and Eminem-as-Jackson gets down on the floor to retrieve it), as well as the 1984 accident the pop icon had during the filming of a Pepsi commercial when his hair burst into flames.
"I am very angry at Eminem's depiction of me in his video," Jackson said last month in an interview with comedian Steve Harvey (search) on Los Angeles radio station 100.3 FM. "I feel that it is outrageous and disrespectful. It is one thing to spoof, but it is another to be demeaning and insensitive."
On Thursday, Jackson told FOX’s Rivera that he was grateful to his fans and a host of others for backing him in the controversy, including Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
“I want to thank my fans for their strong support,” Jackson told Rivera, who stood in the midst of the screaming protesters. “They’re the best fans in the world. They’ve written thousands and thousands of letters and made hundreds of calls regarding the Eminem video."
In addition to MTV, Jackson has asked other cable music stations not to show "Just Lose It." Black Entertainment Television has honored his request because BET President Robert Johnson said he thinks it’s inappropriate to disparage a celebrity.
FOX News' Geraldo Rivera and The Associated Press contributed to this report.