Michael Jackson fandom

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Michael Jackson fans are the fandom of American singer Michael Jackson. They are also known as Moonwalkers[1] or MJFam.[2][3][4]

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Jacksonmania[edit]

In the beginning of the 70's, Jackson and his brothers would embark on tours across the globe, performing in front of millions of fans while recording hits at a rapid pace during the Jackson-mania. Adulation from fans young and old, male and female would become par for the course.[5][6][7]

Reaction to child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson[edit]

Reaction to first child sexual abuse allegations[edit]

Despite the negative attitude of the media, the public still supported Jackson. A phone-in poll conducted by A Current Affair—known for its unfavorable coverage of the allegations—found that more than 80 percent of callers did not believe the Chandlers.[8] A poll of teenagers—Jackson's central fan base at the time—also reported that 75 percent did not believe the allegations; this rose to nearly 90 percent amongst African-American teenagers. Two-thirds of children between the ages of 13 to 15—the approximate age of Jordan Chandler at the time—believed he was innocent.[8] A poll conducted by Entertainment Weekly showed that only 12 percent of adults believed the allegations, and only eight percent of respondents indicated that they were less likely to buy a product endorsed by the entertainer. The same poll also concluded that public opinion of Jackson had risen since the allegations, with Jackson's past records selling at a faster rate.[9][8]

Reaction to second sexual abuse allegations[edit]

Amsterdam 2004.jpg
Jackson fans.jpg

Reaction to Jackson's death[edit]

The floor on an area on the ground is covered with flowers, cards and balloons. The area is closed off with metal barricades.
Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame became a focal point for public grief.

News of Jackson's death triggered an outpouring of grief around the world. Fans gathered outside the UCLA Medical Center, Neverland Ranch, his Holmby Hills home, the Hayvenhurst Jackson family home in Encino, the Apollo Theater in New York, and at Hitsville U.S.A., the old Motown headquarters in Detroit where Jackson's career began, now the Motown Museum. Streets around the hospital were blocked off, and across America people left offices and factories to watch the breaking news on television.[10] A small crowd, including the city's mayor, gathered outside his childhood home in Gary, where the flag on city hall was flown at half staff in his honor.[11] Fans in Hollywood initially gathered around the Walk of Fame star of another Michael Jackson, as they were unable to access Jackson's star, which had been temporarily covered by equipment in place for the Brüno film premiere.[12] Grieving fans and memorial tributes relocated from the talk radio host's star the next day.[13]

From Odessa[14] to Brussels,[15] and beyond, fans held their own memorial gatherings.

Portrait and other tributes, including mural and messages from 650 Spanish fans, letters, pictures, teddy bears, and flowers.
Tribute of fans from all over the world in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park on the first anniversary of his death

On June 25, 2010, the first anniversary of Jackson's death, fans traveled to Los Angeles to pay tribute. They visited Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his family home, and Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Many carried sunflowers and other tributes to leave at the sites.[16][17]

On June 26, 2010, fans marched in front of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division at the old Parker Center building, and assembled a petition with thousands of signatures, demanding justice in the homicide investigation.[18][19][20]

In 2014, 34 members of the French-based Michael Jackson Community fan club sued Jackson's doctor for the emotional damage caused by the singer's death. Five of them were awarded one euro each since they were able to prove their suffering. Their lawyer, Emmanuel Ludot, stated that to his knowledge this was "the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a popstar has been recognised". [21]

Fan activism[edit]

On December 10, 2010,as a promotion of Jackson's first posthumous album of previously unreleased tracks Michael a 29,070-square-foot (2,701 m2) poster depicting the album artwork from Michael was erected at the Rectory Farm in Middlesex, England, by fans which broke a Guinness World Record for the largest poster in the world.[22]

In 2019 after the release of Leaving Neverland Jackson fans demanded the Sundance Film Festival cancel the premiere.[23] At the Sundance premiere, Robson and Safechuck said they had received death threats from Jackson fans.[24] Fans protested outside Channel 4's office, and led an internet campaign against the film. They also crowdfunded an advertising campaign to publicise Jackson's alleged innocence, with the slogan "Facts don't lie. People do" on buses and bus stops.

On July 2019 three Michael Jackson fan clubs in france, Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street and On The Line have filed a suit against two of the late alleged abuse victims for sullying his image in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland using the defamation laws that make it an offence to wrongly sully the image of a dead person. US or British laws do not provide such protection to dead person.[25][26]

Conventions[edit]

The Jackson Family Foundation, in conjunction with Voiceplate, presented "Forever Michael", an event bringing together Jackson family members, celebrities, fans, supporters and the community to celebrate and honor his legacy. A portion of the proceeds were presented to some of Jackson's favorite charities.[27][28][29]

A convention for the European community, the Kingvention, was established in the UK in 2015 following the success witnessed in Michael Jackson related events in the continent. [30]

Charity and fund raising[edit]

Michael Jackson Fans For Charity (MJFFC) is a fan made charity, inspired by Michael Jackson.[31]

Awards[edit]

The MJJCommunity won Best Fan Forum at the O Music Awards 2011.[32]

Criticism[edit]

Mike Pesca of Slate and Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast described fans as conspiracy theorists.[33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elizabeth Amisu (26 September 2016). The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife. ABC-CLIO. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-4408-3865-1.
  2. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (2019-03-04). "Michael Jackson Fans Are Tenacious. 'Leaving Neverland' Has Them Poised for Battle". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  3. ^ "'Just let the man rest': 'Leaving Neverland' is panned by Michael Jackson's die-hard fans". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  4. ^ Mark Duffett (29 August 2013). Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-62356-585-5.
  5. ^ "ThyBlackMan | African-American Blog | Online Black News | Black Men United | Black Online Community | Black Male Blog | African-American Parents | Black Universal Love". thyblackman.com. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  6. ^ Taylor, Marisa Schwartz. "See Unpublished Photos of Michael Jackson From the 70s". Time. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  7. ^ "Beat Magazine". Beat Magazine. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  8. ^ a b c Campbell, pp. 63–64
  9. ^ Campbell, pp. 71-73
  10. ^ Coleman, Mark. Michael Jackson is dead: fans mourn outside hospital, The Daily Telegraph, June 26, 2009.
  11. ^ Keagle, Lauri Harvey. Fans paying respects to King of Pop at boyhood home, The Times of Northwest Indiana, June 26, 2009.
  12. ^ Michael Jackson's death: Fans gather at wrong Hollywood star, The Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2009.
  13. ^ Behrens, Zach. Crowds Gather Around Michael Jackson's Star After Bruno Premiere Archived June 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Hollywood LAist, June 26, 2009.
  14. ^ In Odessa honoured memory of Michael Jackson, UNIAN (June 29, 2009)
  15. ^ (in Dutch) Hulde aan Michael Jackson in Brussel, Gazet van Antwerpen (July 7, 2009)
  16. ^ Wells, Jason; Rocha, Veroniac (June 25, 2010). "One year later: Fans gather to pay tribute to Michael Jackson". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Familia y fans de Jackson le recuerdan en el aniversario de su muerte". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). EFE. June 25, 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
  18. ^ McCartney, Anthony (June 23, 2010). "A year after Michael Jackson's death, fan base remains committed to keeping memory alive". The Gaea Times. Associated Press.
  19. ^ Romero, Dennis (June 4, 2010). "MJ fans plan to march in downtown L.A. one day after anniversary". LA Weekly. Michaeljackson.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011.
  20. ^ "Michael Jackson fans stay faithful at trial". Reuters. 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  21. ^ "One euro in damages for Jackson fans". 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  22. ^ "Largest Poster - Michael Jackson". Guinness World Records. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  23. ^ Sharf, Zack (January 15, 2019). "Sundance Will Not Pull Michael Jackson Child Abuse Doc 'Leaving Neverland' Amid Fan Protests". IndieWire. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  24. ^ Lee, Benjamin (January 25, 2019). "'Secrets will eat you up' – inside the shocking Michael Jackson documentary". The Guardian.
  25. ^ "Michael Jackson Fans Sue Alleged Abuse Victims In French Court". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  26. ^ https://www.vulture.com/2019/07/michael-jackson-fan-groups-are-suing-over-finding-neverland.html
  27. ^ Gimenez-Llort, Lydia (June 26, 2010). "M4MJ 'Forever Michael' (1) For fans use ONLY!". World News Network. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  28. ^ "An amazing tribute: The Jackson Family Foundation & VoicePlate Productions presents "Forever Michael."". Michaeljackson.com. June 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011.
  29. ^ "Aniversario de muerte de Michael Jackson pasará sin grandes homenajes". Diario ABC Color (in Spanish). EFE. June 23, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "About Kingvention – Kingvention". Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  31. ^ "MJFFC - Michael Jackson Fans For Charity". www.mjffc.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  32. ^ "Michael Jackson MJJ Community Receives Award For Winning Best Fan Forum on MTV's O Music Awards (Pictures Inside)". Michael Jackson Official Site. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  33. ^ Pesca, Mike (March 8, 2019). "Michael Jackson's Defenders Are Starting to Sound Like Conspiracy Theorists". Slate Magazine.
  34. ^ Fallon, Kevin (March 2, 2019). "The Twisted Cult of Michael Jackson Truthers". The Daily Beast.