Michael Jackson vs. Sony
The deceased Michael Jackson shocked even Al Sharpton when he called industry exec Tommy Mottola "a racist” and “a devil.” The King of Pop, who spoke on the record industry at an event for Sharpton’s National Action Network, claimed Sony wanted $200 million from him, which he did not owe, and that the industry targeted black artists.
“They steal, they cheat, they do everything they can, especially [against] black artists,” he said of recording companies. Jackson felt the label had a conflict of interest in encouraging him to sell his share in their music catalog, and when he told Sony he was leaving, they refused to promote Invincible. Sony claimed they never told Jackson he owed $200 million and that they were proud of their promotion of Invincible, but refused to renew his contract, and he left for Epic Records.
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