NEW YORK, NY—The offices of Billboard Magazine received thousands of unexpected visitors yesterday morning, and they weren’t looking for free subscriptions.
The sea of irate people blanketing the street came out in protest of Billboard’s controversial decision to nullify all of the Top 10 listings of the late Michael Jackson. The erasure of Jackson’s chart success is in response to ongoing outrage by children’s rights groups about Jackson’s alleged indiscretions with young boys.
And despite the failure to convict Jackson on molestation charges, Billboard is determined to take a proactive stance in support of child welfare, as “even suspicion of such acts should not be tolerated.”
But the public outcry against Billboard pales in comparison to the deluge of statements issued by Jackson’s former collaborators, whose reputations remain at stake in light of these developments. Several entertainment icons, including songwriter Rod Temperton—who penned Off the Wall, Rock with You, and Thriller—expressed his ire via email, making it the first he’d made contact with the outside world in years. Temperton’s primary concern was that his legacy as a great would “be tarnished for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with [him].”
Legendary producer Quincy Jones pled for Billboard to reconsider: “Come on, man; it’s bad enough my daughter [Rashida] is out there outshining me right now. I mean she’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I’m Quincy f___ing Jones.”
And the ghost of Vincent Price reported that the ghost of Michael Jackson has yet to admit guilt in his ethereal state: “At least I think he hasn’t,” moaned Ghost Price, “but the pasty little bugger won’t return my calls. He still owes me money for that Thriller voiceover. If anyone got f___ed by Michael, it’s me. No homo.”
The rallying of celebrities from this world and the next may be what prompts Billboard overturn their motion. The Director of Public Relations at Billboard, who wishes to remain anonymous (for the sake of his future in publishing, such as it is), admitted that the news was “our attempt at maintaining a modicum of relevance in the rapidly declining world of magazine publishing. Seriously, outside of our awards show, young people don’t even know that we Billboard is a magazine.”
When asked whether the magazine’s digital companion (available on the iPad, NOOK, and Kindle) has kept the publication visible, the PR Director responded, “What in the f___ is a NOOK?”