Michael jackson takes off his glove and goes toe to toe with the sony chief. Is the war of words over race or money? And later, live to salt lake city for the latest on the search for elizabeth smart.
>> I'm fighting for myself and all artists. Those great artists who pioneered, you know, entertainment business as well as song writing as well as incredible staging. You know, the fact that they have been taken by the system. Totally broken them financially, you know. This has to stop. It's a conspiracY. Greta: Michael jackson making a rare trip from never-never land to harlem, rallying support against what he calls a racist music industry. The king of pop is in a big fight with the king of sony and the glove is off. Jackson claims sony failed to promote his latest c.D. "Ins vinceable" and personally blames tommy mottola. It led to a protest outside sony headquarters on sad and the allegations shocked many within the industry as well as the reverend al sharpton, who stood shoulder to shoulder with jackson before the protest. Reverend al sharpton is till with us as well as a contributing editor at "rolling stone" magazinE. Torre, what is going on? Why is michael jackson doing this?
>> He put out a bad record and he's upset it's not selling. Greta: Reverend, is that what's going on here?
>> No, I don't think sO. I think when you look at t michael jackson said, what everyone wants to do is du the issue. There's a national summit tomorrow that michael jackson came in town for. He talked about the historic problem that a lot of artists have had, particularly blacks. Elvis blackwell, who wrote elvis' hits, his daughter wil behere tomorrow and other artists. He's not just talking about his situation. He's talking about many otherS. I think rather than the industry bring this to his album, which he didn't even mention in the interview, they should deal with the issues he's raised. Greta: Let me stop you for a second, reverend, and ask you a couple quick questions. Back to toure. There were very specific remarks made about the head of sony. It wasn't just like the record industry is racist or hurting black artists. He says he is racist, that's what he called him, he says, "very, very devilisH." He made nasty personal comments in your view, were those perm comments against the sony executive fair?
>> Well, he said that some people had come to him and said that mr. Mottoa had used the "n" word. This we've invited them to come to the summit. Greta: Are those accusations fair? Are they fair?
>> We have to look at those that made the accusations. Greta: Do you think it's fair to repeat them before you've looked to see whether or not they're accurate?
>> He knows the artists, he believes them. They're fellow artists at sonY. You can't tell michael jackson he doesn't have the right to believe people he knows. We will have to make those determinations at the summit tomorrow. It's fair for him to repeat what he believes. Greta: He had the first amendment to repeat it but might find himself slapped with a libel suit.
>> We haven't heard that announced yet.
>> When you talk about the history of racism, the boy from englewood we saw five minutes ago, for michael jackson to invoke that word, when he hasn't wanted to be black for 20 years, savaging his skin, that's not irrelevanT.
>> Suppose we found out that kid beaten in englewood never wanted to be black. Is it all right to beat him on the hood? The fact is if michael jackson is raising issue, and i just raised several questions, and you know I respect you, why don't they deal with those issues? If michael jackson didn't think of this till two days ago, it doesn't make it less truE. Greta: Toure, you get iN.
>> I was waiting with baited breath. There were two good records in the album. I listened to "you rock my world." A lot of people drove around listening to "butter flies," but the album we were waiting for, "thriller," "off the wall," it didn't happeN.
>> The industry is ration-free because you didn't like the record?
>> He's upset the record didn't sell. He wouldn't be talking about racism if he sold 25 million copies. Greta: Toure, is michael jackson trying to get out of hideal with sony?
>> Perhaps he is. I mean, perhaps it's a bad deal. U know, the point is he made a bad recorD. You know, we've been waiting for a new michael jackson record for years, and sudde you know, he hasn't wanted to be black, it's amazing to pull racism into this issue.
Is similar -- this is a similar issue that prince raised a few years ago that saying that his deal was not good for him. He's writing "slave" on his face. It's ignorpt and insulting to the history of slavery and black people in america for michael jackson and prince to be hollering racism and slavery after they've made hundreds of millions of dollars in the record business.
>> Are you denying racism in the indu dustry. But this guy after all that he's done --
>> Doesn't matteR.
>> All the legal troubles and weirdness he'sut on us, tt record came out. Millions of people were waiting to listen to it. Mtv played the song, radio stations played the sonG.
>> All he's gone through, he's never raised racE. Raises it now. If he was cynically using it, he could have used itorE. He's using it now because I think he has seen a lot of artists that he named that he's seen end up like t if he was cynic usi it, he would have used it before. Greta: Reverend, I want to participate a lit until this discussion.
>> Sure, greta.
>> Reverend,hy han the record sold?
>> I have no idea or no concern. I'm concerned about what he raised about racism in the industry. I'm in civil rights, not in record promotion. Greta: Are you saying it didn't sell because of racism or do you feel it's just not a good record?
>> You played the tape. He said there are problems of race in the industry. First of all, the record sold six million. If you have half that people watching tonight, you have a hit show. How many people are watchg, greta? That's not bad.
>> Ask thed if he listened to the record.
>> Do you like it?
>> I did like the record but it has nothing to do with the issue. Greta: Gentlem, thank you both very much for a very spirited debate
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