According to TMZ, Joe Jackson has finally started selling the Michael Jackson tribute perfume that he announced way back in 2009 when his son died. It doesn’t look like his attempt to cash in on the pop star’s death are going very well, however; he spent a day as the special guest at the Julian Rouas Paris kiosk at The Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas with an MJ themed backdrop signing autographs, and I’m sure your common sense can guess how totally not-mobbed the scene there was.
But here’s the catch: Joe Jackson doesn’t have the legal right to sell any merchandise related to Michael Jackson, so the perfume is actually a “tribute” to the late singer’s story. Not only was Joe left out of Michael’s will, but another company owns the exclusive right to market and sell products under Michael Jackson’s name. That company filed a lawsuit asking for damages and sought to ban the product, so in response the fragrance is only called “Jackson” — no Michael — and seeks only to “honor the greatest superstar that has graced the world.” Joe Jackson also claims that because they family wants to stay private, the fragrance, which starts at $59, will only be available in malls and not in department stores.
It’s clear that relationships between families members can be complicated, especially when fame and money are involved, but Joe Jackson…really? You’re going to loophole your way into making a cologne that is clearly capitalizing off of your son’s success after his death when he expressly did not want you to profit from it in life? And then tell folks that you’re selling it at mall kiosks, with a Michael-esque backdrop no less — to stay private? It all reminds me of the off-brand sodas and cereals that are sold in grocery stores with names like “Dr. Thunder” and “Toasty-O’s” that are clearly supposed to be Dr. Pepper and Cheerios but just aren’t. Man, please…what a disgrace. And I can only imagine what it smells like.