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Published on January 10th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie

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Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood TV Review: The Sordid Reality Of Jackson’s Life

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Director: Jacques Peretti.
TV Station: Channel Four.

Channel 4’s intriguing and revealing documentary, Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood, brings the viewer into a unique but deadly world. The true machinations of Hollywood are disturbing with few individuals knowing what really goes on behind the facade, but for those who do the rarefied atmosphere can be both intoxicating  and lethal.

Michael Jackson's Secret Hollywood

The documentary gives a fascinating insight into how Hollywood works. It focuses especially on those who prey on the rich and famous, in this case Michael Jackson. Jacques Peretti unmasks another side to both La La Land and Michael Jackson’s death. That is the role of the people that Jackson had surrounded himself with.

‘It is an eerie and frightening position to be in.’

Secret Hollywood shows top stars, and Jackson in particular, as being constantly surrounded by managers, handlers and other hangers-on. Some of these people appear to be quite duplicitous, for example, the programme claims two of Jackson’s entourage had links with the pornography and sex industry with Jackson’s former manager being one.

It is an eerie and frightening position to be in. To be free of the constraints of social strata, free of the humdrum shackles of everyday mundane reality and free from what some consider the ignominy of anonymity. To be a Hollywood-A-lister is viewed by many as the pinnacle social model. Welcome to the world of Michael Jackson. The film delves deeply into the roles of the people that surrounded Jackson and the industry that thrives on sanctifying the dead stars, cleaning their blemished reputations and making them heroic.

‘a man who was subject to the need to keep an amoral entourage’

Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood highlights, in particular, Jackson’s addiction to drugs and the charges related to child molestation levelled against him. It is strongly biased in favour of Jackson and portrays him as an innocent victim or a lamb among wolves. So where does the real Michael Jackson reside? Is he a saint or sinner? Probably somewhere in the middle, he was the master on stage and he did inspire millions to share in his music and his visions. But he was also a deeply troubled individual, a man who was subject to the need to keep an amoral entourage, a man who was dependent on people who were far from honest and could double-cross him at any turn, and frequently did.

The truth according to Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood is that Hollywood is its very own prison. An oleaginous society, it vampirically gorges itself on the host star.

‘Lost in the new image is Jackson’s personal responsibility and duty of care to himself.’

Jackson has now been given the same treatment that was afforded  to both the late Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Like Presley and Monroe, Jackson’s posthumously repackaged persona has removed and wiped clean the memories of his drug abuse, his dangerous need to be in the limelight and the child abuse allegations that severely tarnished his reputation. Lost in the new image is Jackson’s personal responsibility and duty of care to himself. Instead we have the legacy of the consummate professional, the man who changed the world through music and the man who brought joy and meaning to millions of people.

‘This is a rather different insight into the world of Scientology’

The documentary also suggested that because Michael Jackson would have nothing to do with the Church of Scientology the allegations of child molestation against him surfaced. According to the documentary, the role of Scientology in celebrities’ lives is not just spiritual guidance but also to protect the reputations of Hollywood stars in exchange for millions of dollars in donations. This is a rather different insight into the world of Scientology, a view that suggests far from being insecure or suggestible, celebrities choose to follow the Church because it provides protection from scandals.

The viewer has no real way of knowing if what he/she is watching is the full truth. If you are a fan of Jackson you will no doubt agree with the findings. On the other hand, if you are convinced the man was a child abuser then no matter what the evidence, you wont agree with the programme’s tone. However, no matter what your belief, this is still a very interesting study into Hollywood lives. Whether or not you overlook Jackson’s role in his death and the allegations surrounding him is a personal choice. After all, it was up to him to select and choose the people who he associated with very carefully and weed out the bad ones.

Highly Recommended

You can watch Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood on youtube.com.

For an interesting insight into Michael Jackson check out Yellow Magpie’s This Is It Film Review: Michael Jackson’s Last Stand and Michael Jackson: Personae’s Of A Talented But Controversial Superstar.


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