Eminem isn't making a fan out of Michael Jackson with his new video, which pokes fun at the embattled pop star. The singer has asked video channels to stop playing "Just Lose It," and BET has since pulled the clip out of rotation.
In the video, Eminem riffs on several Jackson-related themes, from an opening routine reminiscent of "Billie Jean," to a joke about the 1985 incident in which the singer's hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi ad. Wearing prosthetic makeup to look like Jackson, Eminem also targets the singer's molestation scandal by sitting on a bed with boys dancing around him.
In the song, Eminem insists it's not an attack, rapping, "Come here, little kiddies, on my lap/ Guess who's back with a brand new rap/ And I don't mean a rap as in a new case of child-molestation accusation/ ... I've done touched on everything but little boys/ That's not a stab at Michael/ That's just a metaphor/ I'm just psycho."
Jackson said he finds the video "offensive" and "demeaning," according to spokesperson Raymone Bain. "The entire video is inappropriate; it's not just one thing," Bain said. "He is very disappointed, he is very angry. It's one thing for there to be a spoof, it's another to be insensitive and disrespectful. It crossed the line."
Jackson also called in to "The Steve Harvey Morning Show" on Los Angeles radio station KKBT-FM on Tuesday to complain. "I've never had a problem with Eminem," Jackson told Harvey, saying that he felt "appalled" and "angry" at his depiction in the video. "I've admired Eminem as an artist, and was shocked by this," Jackson said. "The video was inappropriate and disrespectful to me, my children, my family and the community at large."
Bain said Jackson was encouraged by BET's decision to pull the video and hopes other channels follow suit. BET spokesperson Michael Lewellen said the move was "out of respect for our longstanding relationship with Michael Jackson."
"BET pulled the video because we feel it is inappropriate to use our network to air a video disparaging Michael's character, or that of any other celebrity," BET Chairman/Founder Bob Johnson said in a statement.
In the meantime, Eminem is standing by his video. His label, Interscope, released a statement about the matter contingent upon it being printed in full. It reads: "Eminem's video for 'Just Lose It' was taken off the air today by BET. Michael Jackson requested that the station no longer play the video because he found it offensive. We are sorry that BET made this decision. Eminem's new album, Encore, will be released on November 16."
MTV, MTV2 and MTVU continue to air the "Just Lose It" video.