The public relations firm handling the press for Joe Jackson should be relieved of its services. Joe's publicity following the death of his iconic son Michael Jackson could not be worse.
Even though Joe clarified the following day that he was not attempting to capitalize on his son's demise, at best, he lacked media savvy.
I am troubled by recent reports that Joe is planning to put Michael's children on tour next summer, billed as The Jackson 3.
On Friday, ABC News aired an interview with Joe Jackson in which he discussed the potential entertainment careers of his late son's three children, Prince Michael, 12; Paris, 11; and Blanket (Prince Michael II), 7.
I can't fault Joe for directly answering Chris Connelly's question. It is a fair question that most people want to hear answered. And I don't think there is anything wrong with Joe mentioning that his grandchildren display some interest in music or even performing.
But I hope the rumors about putting the kids on tour are not true.
At press time, investigative entertainment journalist Ian Halperin is reporting the claim made by unnamed sources.
Halperin told the UK publication The Sun that Joe has already spoken to two of Michael's children about recording contracts.
"One of the family members is livid," said Halperin, who wrote an unauthorized Jackson biography, "The Final Years Of Michael Jackson Unmasked."
"He wants to exploit the kids the same way he did Michael."
Paris' remarks at her father's memorial were touching. But it would be in bad taste for these children to be put on a tour. They are too young. I know there was talk of Blanket performing with Michael on the London This Is It tour dates that were scheduled to begin Monday. But that is completely different.
Taking these kids, immediately following their father's tragic death, and putting them on the road would be exploitative. I know that Michael Jackson had a lot of debt, but I can't imagine that these children need to work to earn a living.
They should not be encouraged to pursue entertainment careers until they are adults. They are likely grieving and trying to process their father's untimely death. They need a break and some time to be children.
Michael often complained of not having a normal childhood himself. So it does not make any sense to subject his children to the same upbringing.