Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts
“Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts” is an article by Willa that was published by Popular Musicology Online on January 8, 2015. It consists of three sections:
“Monsters” addresses the allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, as well as the climate of hysteria that skewed judgment after those accusations became public. It also considers cultural and historical factors for why the police, the press, and the public may have been predisposed to see Michael Jackson as guilty, and why they may have reacted the way they did.
“Witches” considers the case of Tituba, a slave in Salem Village, Massachusetts, and one of the first women accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. Specifically, it highlights aspects of her situation in 1692 that closely parallel Michael Jackson’s situation in 1993. It also considers Tituba’s creative response to the accusations and the hysteria that followed.
“Ghosts” looks at the short film, Michael Jackson’s Ghosts, as his creative response to the accusations against him. It also considers what this film has to say about his off-screen response as well, and concludes that he was creating an entirely new genre of art distinct in form and scope from anything we’ve ever seen before.
Note: Michael Jackson’s Ghosts was never officially released outside of Asia so is not widely available. If you don’t have a copy, here’s a link to a high-definition version available on YouTube.
Also, while much of the information in the “Monsters” section of this article is already very familiar to fans, this is the first time a balanced review of the evidence has appeared in an academic journal, and it has rarely been reported in the mainstream media. We think it’s very important that this information be made available to the general public as well as Michael Jackson’s supporters, so if you have ideas about ways to share this article with readers who may or may not be fans, please feel free to do so.