Yesterday we learned that Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, the eldest child of the late Michael Jackson, scored a new job as a reporter for the tabloid TV show Entertainment Tonight. Today we get to see video of Prince in action on the show. As should be expected, ET plans to maximize this collaboration with MJ‘s son as much as possible. As I understand it, ET plans to air tiny snippets of Prince in action all week long in an attempt to get viewers to tune in … it’s a ploy that is likely to work, to be honest. If you are curious to see Prince in action as an awkward ET reporter, you’re gonna wanna check out the video below.
He sought out the job on his road to becoming well-rounded ‘as a producer, director, screenwriter and actor’ and on Tuesday night Prince Jackson struck out on his own as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Despite those efforts, Michael Jackson’s 16-year-old son found himself the centre of the story on Tuesday evening. The 30-minute programme featured clips of co-host Brooke Anderson grilling Prince with questions in between teasers for his first assignment, while he patiently waited for his moment to step into her shoes and test his skills as an interviewer. With little known about the length of Prince’s contract, producers were keen to exploit their most high-profile – and their youngest – new celebrity reporter. Teasers airing before his debut showed the teenager stiffly dressed as if ready to sit for a serious interview, while co-hosts told viewers about ET’s newest addition. Critics immediately put out their claws – surely a 16-year-old has not earned the credentials to juggle on-air interviews, despite his or her own status as a celebrity or even a studious cinephile, as Prince described himself. His banter with Brooke was awkward, even cringe-worthy, though on par with exchanges between evening news anchors. Thrusting a teenager in front of cue cards and a glaring red light did little to enhance the story (Prince’s first assignment would be to interview the cast of Oz the Great and Powerful). But viewers, and interested fans of the Jackson clan, did get a glimpse into how young Prince sees himself stepping out of his father’s shadow. ‘I’ve been raised around stuff like this so it was different being the interviewer instead of the one being interviewed,’ he told Brooke. Prince refers to his late father with the ET veteran compliments him on his maturity. ‘That’s what most of my people say,’ he responds. ‘That was all thanks to my dad. He raised me right.’
The teen was just 12-years-old when his father died, leaving Prince and his two siblings in the care of extended relatives, including their paternal grandmother, Katherine Jackson. But with an index cards full of notes ready for Brooke, she instead turned the interview to him. ‘I’m so curious about how movies are made,’ Prince said as they went down his list of questions for the Oz cast. One of them: What advice would they have for him starting out? Making their way through light stands, tangled wiring and cameras, Brooke asked who he pulled inspiration from after sitting for so many interviews himself. Oprah Winfrey, he said, ‘made it feel like home’, referring to her interview with the Jackson clan in their backyard in 2010. ‘It was a very casual, very easy interview to do,’ he said. Loosening up before his first interview, Brooke proposed the pair have a push-up battle. Prince obliged, and the pair pumped their arms until she was too winded to continue. Soon after, credits rolled – with a clip of Prince sitting down opposite James Franco and Zach Braff, the respective Wizard and voice of Frank/Finley in Sam Raimi’s Oz. Viewers will have to wait, despite ET pitching the evening as Prince’s debut, to see him actually do what producers claim to have hired him for – as opposed to a simple tool to boost ratings.
UGH … Entertainment Tonight is just so awful. I honestly understand how a young person like Prince Jackson might think he’s cut out to be on TV at the age of 16 but I’m really grossed out that his parental guardians have allowed him to be exploited by ET in this way. I can’t help but view the young Jackson as an exotic oddity that is being put on display for money. I’m not at all surprised that ET jumped at the chance to get their hands on this young man so that they can milk him for ratings. It’s just really unfortunate, IMHO, that his guardian (Katherine Jackson, I believe) would allow this to even go this far. It’s sad, I just can’t help but see this as a very sad thing. I’m sure in the long run Prince will be just fine but … ugh, for right now it’s just gross all the way around.