There was a special guest at the Billboard Music Awards last night — Michael Jackson. The King of Pop returned to center stage as a hologram and performed “Slave to the Rhythm.” He, the beams of light that resembled Michael Jackson, danced on stage with real, human dancers. The crowd sang along, cheered and some even cried.
The reactions? Some have said it was creepy, some have said it was cool and some have said it was both. I personally think it was mix of creepy/exploitive/disrespectful.
A Spectacle is Not a Tribute
The fact that Michael Jackson died not even 5 years ago makes this way too soon in my book. I don’t mean for this to sound cold, but when someone is dead, they are gone, and that’s how it should be. They live on in memories, but that’s it. In my opinion, if I were to see someone who had died that I knew personally come back to life as a hologram, I would freak the heck out! It’s just too weird.
Also, I feel that presenting a hologram at an awards show is not a “tribute.” It was meant to shock and awe — and it worked. More people are talking about the Billboard Awards now than ever before. If they had used a different deceased musician would it have had the same impact? My guess is it probably would have. That alone tells me this wasn’t a “tribute,” it was just to get attention.
Less Human, More Performer
My main problem with this performance is that by making Michael Jackson into a hologram, they have made him less of a human. Since they can just remake him as a performer to appear whenever they want, it separates that aspect of him. By singling out that side of Michael, it makes him less of a human being and more of a entertainment piece.
It’s important to remember that he, like all celebrities, was a human with a life outside of the spotlight. I feel it is important that we respect that and respect people as a whole. They have passed away and it is not our place to choose what aspects of their lives come back on a whim. Michael Jackson, like all who have passed, was a human with a life and a soul. He was not living just to entertain, so why should he be just entertainment after he’s gone?