As CRLS anticipated, cashing in on Michael Jackson’s death has become the “world’s greatest death meme.” As the trend of celebrity Twitter statements has subsided, the world is left with the true bottom-feeders. These are the folks who do not create MJ YouTube videos for promotion, but rather, attempt to bring home the bills by exploiting our unwavering Jackson fascination. Not counting New York’s street merchants (to be fair, some of the MJ pins are kind of awesome) here’s an eight-point list of Michael Jackson profiteers that impress and annoy us.
1. OK! Magazine: They recently published a photo of Michael Jackson dead on a stretcher. The picture cost them $500K and the Jackson family is outraged. Not OK.
2. AEG LIVE: The production company set to run Jackson’s English performances has plans to release a DVD of MJ’s last rehearsal. However, this is understandable since $85 million must be refunded in ticket sales, not to mention the amount lost in preparation for the tour.
3. Sony: Word came today that there are hundreds of unreleased songs in existence. “When a music star of Jackson’s stature dies, labels typically comb through their archives to pull out anything they can release. New compilations of recordings by performers such as Elvis, Tupac and Jeff Buckley are still released nearly every year.”
4. Lindsay Lohan: Underwear + Michael Jackson hat. The Twitter picture speaks for itself.
5. The Michael Jackson Estate: The challenge lies in developing and leveraging the celebrity’s legacy without cheapening the product. If done smartly, this can enhance the celebrity’s public standing — and marketability — for many years to come.”
6. Radio Stations: Fortunately, the people who are mostly benefiting from the 1,735 percent rise in MJ airplay are his songwriters. Having written/co-written some of Jackson’s greatest hits (Rod Temperton wrote “Thriller”), these select songwriters will be receiving extreme royalty boosts.
7. Nona Paris Lola Ankhesenamun Jackson: “All my husband’s properties, monies and assets must be transferred to me immediately” and “my husband’s body must be returned to the coroner’s body [sic] or the mortuary immediately.” Nona has filed a petition though the L.A. County Superior Court. There is zero evidence
8. Gary Mayor Rudy Clay: “If it’s good enough for Elvis Presley, it’s good enough for Michael Jackson, too.” Clay expects Jackson’s old, run-down Indiana home to become the next Graceland.