A change from the usual mindless fluff tabloid stories about Michael Jackson's children. This is a look at Prince Jackson coming into his own in the public eye. Showing those that are concerned about the media attention and his education and those who think he will be fine on his path of pursuing a career because he is in control of his own agenda is not a pushover. So far Prince has held his own and although I do worry for his well being , I wish only the best for him as he explores his options and continues his journey in achieving his dreams. ~ Qbee
A New Jackson in Front of the Lens
In some ways, he seems like just another 16-year-old boy. He drives a Ford Raptor pickup. He took his girlfriend bowling. On social media, he talks about movies, video games and junk food.
Sample tweet: “Burnt myself on a corn dog.”
But lately, Michael Jackson’s oldest son, Prince, has become a teenager about town. TMZ.com and other tabloid media outlets have shown him leaving Mr. Chow’s, taking in the Rolling Stones and having a powwow with police over strobe lights mounted on the grille of that truck. “It’s a far cry from the boy Michael Jackson shielded for years,” TMZ wrote last month.
He opened the door for this, or at least someone has.
Prince, who just a few years ago was wearing a feathered face mask in public to protect his identity, turned paparazzi heads in October with an unusual appearance to promote an energy drink. “I have a wide, broad horizon,” he told “Extra” while standing next to his aunt, La Toya, and holding a can of Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink just so.
In February, he appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” (above), the grande dame of tabloid TV shows, as a special correspondent. With two cameras rolling and La Toya watching from the sidelines, he chatted with James Franco, Zach Braff and Sam Raimi about Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful.” (“Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking to get into the business?”)
Then, just last Monday, he made his acting debut: a cameo on “90210” as a trauma victim. (“I don’t know about you,” he said rather convincingly after being injured at a concert, “but I’m freakin’ out.”)
What’s behind this sudden step into the spotlight?
It’s tough to get answers when you are dealing with the Jacksons. La Toya and Prince had no comment, according to their media representative, “It” Girl Public Relations. A lawyer for his grandmother, Katherine Jackson, who shares custody of Prince and his siblings (Paris, 15, and Blanket, 11), did not respond to a request for comment.
Maybe, as La Toya said in a March statement following a negative New York Post article (“La Toya Jackson Seizes Careers of *****’s Kids”), Prince’s budding show business career is simply part of turning 16. Teenagers get jobs. What was he supposed to do? Steam milk at Starbucks?
The statement read in part: “When she asked her nephew what he wanted for his birthday, he replied, ‘He just wanted to work.’ It was at that time that she diligently started to assist him.” It added, “As a loving aunt, when the children ask for help or advice, she supports them 100 percent.”
But a lot of people are wincing. Fans worry about what the protective Michael would think; he wanted his kids to have a showbiz-free childhood, the one he longed for but never had. The celebrity-news machine ate the King of Pop alive, and now his son is participating in it? Does Prince really want to start an entertainment career, or is this just a creepy continuation of the Jackson family way?
When The Daily Mail, a British publication, ran an article about Prince’s “Entertainment Tonight” debut, 239 readers weighed in with comments. Although some feedback was positive (“Like watching a young Michael!”), many questioned whether a TV job was a good idea.
“Not sure I am comfortable with this, to be honest,” one person wrote. “I hope this isn’t the start of this kid being exploited by both the entertainment industry and whoever is said to be in charge of looking after him,” another added. One reader wrote of Michael Jackson, “I can’t help but think he’ll be turning in his grave at this.”
Randall Sullivan, author of “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson,” sees a more nuanced picture. Yes, the Jackson family has an unsavory history when it comes to children and work. But “there was no way these kids were going to be able to maintain a low profile once they became teenagers,” Mr. Sullivan said in an interview.
“Prince is smart and older than his age,” Mr. Sullivan added. “I think the older kids have also recognized their power. The media’s interest in them is 10 times the rest of the family.”
And the tabloids will not go hungry.
“The kids rate, it’s as simple as that,” said a senior producer at a celebrity news organization, referring to Nielsen ratings. “Jackson stories in general don’t rate anymore: the trial, the weird family stuff, all the molestation accusations. It’s mostly just white noise to people at this point.
“As a result, we’ve all started hunting the kids.”
(A new claim of molesting arose on May 1, filed against the Michael Jackson estate by Wade Robson, a dancer and choreographer. A lawyer for the estate called the fresh accusation “outrageous and pathetic.”)
Prince is just one of several celebrity teenagers who are taking Bambi steps into the family business.
His sister, Paris, wants to act in movies. Connor Cruise, 18, the son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is an aspiring D.J., while Rocco Ritchie, the 12-year-old son of Madonna and Guy Ritchie, danced on stage with his mother during her last concert tour. (But he skipped the bondage gear.) Jaden Smith, 14, will star with his father, Will Smith, in a summer movie, “After Earth.”
Prince’s involvement in “Entertainment Tonight” came about after one of the program’s correspondents, Brooke Anderson, met him at a philanthropic event, according to Linda Bell Blue, the show’s executive producer. The teenager told Ms. Anderson that he was interested in TV, so “Entertainment Tonight” had him interview the “Oz” cast, noting that his dad starred in “The Wiz.”
“I think Michael would be busting the buttons off his shirt,” Ms. Bell Blue said by telephone. “He would be so proud. Prince is very serious about this, very prepared, and I have been blown away.”
If not exactly a natural, Prince was at least game, doing push-ups with Ms. Anderson to get revved up before his interview, allowing himself to be shown sitting in the makeup chair and revealing some personal details. Appearing in a white untucked dress shirt and blazer, he talked about watching movies with his dad and hoping to attend the University of Southern California.
Ms. Bell Blue noted that Katherine Jackson agreed to let Prince participate on one major condition: it could not be on a school day. (He attends Buckley, a private school where tuition and annual fees run $36,335.) So the show organized a shoot for Presidents’ Day. Ms. Bell Blue said she was the one who hooked Prince up with his acting gig; both “Entertainment Tonight” and “90210” fall under the CBS corporate umbrella.
She wants Prince to appear on her program again. “We’ve talked about a couple of things that he’s interested in doing,” she said, adding: “He will control his own agenda. He is not going to let anybody push him around.”
His next stop may be a courtroom. Ongoing in downtown Los Angeles is a wrongful death trial. Katherine Jackson, Prince and his siblings brought the case against Anschutz Entertainment Group, the promoter of Michael Jackson’s planned comeback concert series. Prince and Paris were both named on the witness list, and one or both are expected to testify later this summer.
Source: nytimes http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/fashion/prince-jackson-steps-into-the-spotlight-scene-stealers.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
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