Inner Michael » Fake Babies

Fake Babies

A recent issue of Panorama Italian Magazine featured a story about the designers Dolce and Gabbana. In the article, Dolce expressed his distaste for gay couples having fake children.

He condemned not gay marriage, but gay parenting. Curious, because both Dolce and Gabbana are gay. In fact, they used to be a couple. Now they are business partners that oversee their brand– “Dolce and Gabbana,” in the billion dollar industry of fashion. Their fashions were sought after and they dressed the likes of Madonna and Elton John.

Dolce: “You are born to a mother and a father, or at least that’s how it should be. “I am not convinced by those I call children of chemicals, synthetic children,” said Dolce. “Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue… psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”

Gabbana: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”

The comments are odd and oddly haughty for the mindset that expressed them is outdated, counterintuitive to the gay cause, and more than a little arrogant. The comments peg them as out-of-touch with not just the times but the global movement toward equal rights and human rights.

The backlash to the comments was harsh and swift. The first blow came from none other than Sir Elton John, royalty when it comes to fashion and aesthetics. An openly gay man who is both married and a parent responded immediately and fiercely on social media, the favorite of Hollywood- Instagram.

Elton John: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children.

Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana”

Soon designer Victoria Beckham and singer Ricky Martin and Courtney Love rallied behind Elton John and Madonna weighed in shortly after:

Madonna: “All babies contain a soul however they come to this earth. There is nothing synthetic about a soul!! So how can we dismiss IVF and surrogacy?” Herself a mother of four and a client of the designers, said “God is involved in everything, including technology. We are arrogant to think Man does anything on his own. As above so below! Think before you speak!”

Diane Dimond: [Silence]

Diane Dimond was the reported who claimed to be the premier Michael Jackson biographer and insider on all things Jackson family. Dimond was a loud protestor when Michael Jackson decided to have children with his then wife, Debbie Rowe. Jackson’s third child was born to a surrogate mother who remains unknown. Dimond protested loudly to Jackson having children that “didn’t belong to him.” Repeatedly and at every opportunity Dimond lamented publicly “those are not his biological children. No they’re not; get a clue!”

Her disgust about the changing color of Michael Jackson’s skin and his parenting of children is evident in all her media work. Note the clip in the film “Man Behind the Myth.”

Man Behind the Myth from Walking Moon Studios on Vimeo.

The outrage about the comments regarding “fake children” and those once called “test-tube babies” has grown. Celebrities have vowed to boycott Dolce and Gabbana and there is a petition calling for removal of the brand from stores like Macys and others.

What’s behind a preoccupation of paternity and the bigotry of condemning how couples– any couple– conceive children whether through In-vitro fertilization, fertility drugs, adoption, surrogacy, or otherwise?

Is it a thinly veiled outcry about “contaminating” the gene pool? Didn’t Hitler have a solution to that?

Is it covert racism? Should the races not mix? Should class and station not be tampered with? (again, google “Hitler.”) Or take a look at the history of the American South.

Clearly some people prefer “designer children.” Apparently a designer sees anything but traditionally conceived children fake. All that science and advancement in human rights makes some squeamish it seems.

Diane Dimond: [Silence]

When Michael Jackson decided to have his children the unconventional way and was criticized and mocked for it, where were all these celebrities then? Where were all the supporters? Where were the protestors against bigotry?

The magazines mocked, humiliated, and violated Michael Jackson’s human rights with their relentless attack on a would-be daddy. But Elton John is celebrated by those same magazines? What’s wrong with that picture? What does it really say? What does it deeply imply? That black men shouldn’t have children? That’s an old racist theme that now and then raises its ugly specter. Just the other day Judge Judy admonished a black man for having so many children and asked how he was supporting them– a question completely irrelevant to the case before her.

Michael Jackson wasn’t gay. Some thought he was and as such, shouldn’t have human rights? Elton John is gay, but he’s also white. Many uninformed then, and even now believe that if a man is gay, it therefore follows that he must be a child molester. Why doesn’t that apply to Sir Elton? Actually Elton and Michael were close friends. Elton took him into his home at a really dark time.

Michael was a heterosexual male (confirmed by bodyguards who accompanied his female love interests to hotel rooms) who was a single dad who loved children innocently so much that he built a Neverland theme park and hosted thousands of them, and who wanted to have and love his own babies. Lisa Marie Presley didn’t want to have children with Michael even though she told him she did. (He found her birth control pills- the story goes and divorce then became inevitable.) He then married his children’s mother.

The defense of the widespread mockery cannot be his relationships with children because he was acquitted of heinous charges later proven extortion. Acquitted in one case by a leaked phone conversation where his accuser threatened to ruin him if he didn’t get what he wanted. (A stake in Jackson’s empire.) And a second family that had hit up other celebrities for money and extorted Sears Company with false accusations that already netted a hefty payday for them. They knew how to go about it. It’s well documented that an over-zealous D.A. had a vendetta and hunted Jackson for decades before bringing the criminal suit against him– where he was found not guilty of 14 counts.

We see what kind of father Jackson was evidenced by his savvy, ambitious and well mannered children. The talent obviously travelled in the DNA.

Was his bullying the result of the prevailing opinion that if a man was gay, he must also be a child molestor? Was the disgust because he was a popular and powerful black man, and a black man turning white? (How dare he! He needs to “know his place!”) His Vitiligo took most of his pigment and medical intervention took the rest as a man who spent his entire life of stage tried to maintain his aesthetic and star power. What star doesn’t? The Vitiligo was confirmed on autopsy. Did he have to die to be believed about his Lupus and Vitiligo?

Or was it the umbrella? The sinister umbrella? The one that saved his life because an individual with Lupus and Vitiligo is easily burned or can contract skin cancer by exposure to the sun? Did the umbrella make him too “weird” to be a father? Did his feminism offend red-blooded males who preferred to manhandle their women to revering the female form? Did his advocacy for children’s rights offend those who viewed children as chattle and extra hands on the farm?

What exactly happened there? Is anybody noticing or reflecting?

And where are the apologies?

There is so much outrage about the comments on synthetic children that now there are even protestors on the doorstep of Dolce and Gabanna. The outrage has swelled. There is little tolerance for superiority and for condemning children no matter their means of arrival. And there is zero tolerance for a bigotry that steps on human rights.

Curious that there was all that preoccupation with Michael Jackson’s paternity. When he was being attacked. Mocked. Ridiculed. Pilloried by reporters now apparently silent. When his human rights were being trampled. What was all that? And where were all these voices then?


  1. MagUK said . . .

    Dear Barbara , I’ve never really been able to work out why there is one standard for Michael Jackson.. and another for anyone else. Apart from the obvious (eg racism. jealousy ). Was it that he had that special , almost other-worldly quality? Was it that he was that all-encompassing definition of the human spirit that so many were drawn to , that “too good to be true” quality? That higher standard than most of is ? I know it’s a bit of a cliché..but he was that mirror.. and I think a lot of people looked at their reflection and didn’t like what they saw. They were furious with him for that, and so they just had to protest about every aspect of his life with an ultimate goal of destroying him,so that could prove their “rightness”…

    I wonder what the re-action would have been if Michael had made any of those (celebrity)comments !! I can almost hear the laughter !!!

    Posted March 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Yes, he was a mirror and he held a mirror to the culture and the world. And “we” came up short.

    Now what can you do with a rabble rouser like that?
    What can you do with somebody who keeps poking around where it’s sore?
    What do you do with a guy who has a global following and sings about creating peace when your whole financial structure and economy is built on war-making and its instruments?
    What do you do with someone who keeps pointing out your inadequacies?
    What can you do with a black man (an inferior race) that is stirring up hormones in your white daughter?
    What do you do with somebody who keeps reminding you children are starving when you are hosting the neighbors for a Sunday Bar-B-Q? (See “Pleasant Valley Sunday”)

    Yes, much of it was other-wordly. When you can’t control it or define it, it’s scary. Everybody should fit in some little box, don’t you think? (See “Little Boxes.”)

    And we always find a way to crucify those who come and who might save us from ourselves, don’t we?

    Posted March 24, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Namaste Barbara,

    What can be said for this article but yes and yes, again and again. There is indeed one law for the Jackson family as a whole and another for mainstream America. Fifty to sixty years ago you would have found the same mindset here in New Zealand. First and foremost it is unadulterated racism, all else for Michael stemmed from that.

    Years ago my friend told me of her mother’s shocked and (nasty but true) reaction when she stated her intention to marry an ethnic New Zealander.
    “Do you realise you will have to have the cleanest house in the neighbourhood.Your little ” black ” children will have to be perfectly dressed and mannered or you will be looked down upon even more than you are now.”
    Today we happily mix our blood and marvel at the unique and beautiful race we have created.
    It is a sad fact that humanity as a whole take extreme delight in focusing on the negatives of “the other” and refuse to see the excellence.

    As for “fake” babies, in all probability I would have been robbed of a very much-loved grandson, who shows signs of being a benevolent and evolved soul, so I will not comment overly on that. It is ludicrious.

    Michael’s “white babies”. If those mocking, nasty-minded speculators took a walk down our integrated streets and saw all the blue-eyed blondes that pop-up in our ethnic families, they would be aghast. ( Come and have a look Diane, we will put out the welcome mat.) As these children age they start showing more physical signs of their heritage, but they never lose their arresting blue or green eyes.
    The elder Prince is showing that he has vitiligo and it is growing.
    Just the other day I “happened” upon some newly taken photos of Paris and saw in her the beginnings of what I have described.
    The younger Prince is Michael all over again.

    That is all I have to say except that truth is coming to light all over the world, just not fast enough for us.

    With love to all,

    Posted March 24, 2015 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  4. Nina Fonoroff said . . .

    “The magazines mocked, humiliated, and violated Michael Jackson’s human rights with their relentless attack on a would-be daddy. But Elton John is celebrated by those same magazines? What’s wrong with that picture? What does it really say? What does it deeply imply?”

    Barbara, the answer to your question could be all the things you mention here. But we have to wonder whether another black artist would have been treated similarly. Maybe not. So the key must lie, again, in something that pivotal in the widely-perceived traits that were peculiar to Michael himself. (For more about this, I’d recommend reading Susan Fast’s excellent essay, “Difference that Exceeded Understanding.” I think it’s available online.)

    As for recent developments with Dolce and Gabanna, we might say: that was then, and this is now. At certain moments, some issues are more in the forefront of Twenty years have passed; it’s a different time now, with different discussions and priorities. Attitudes have shifted; and if history is any guide, they are likely to shift still more in the next two decades.

    Posted March 27, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink
  5. Nina Fonoroff said . . .

    “More in the forefront of people’s consciousness.”

    Posted March 27, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink
  6. Nina Fonoroff said . . .

    Barbara, what is that photo of people holding signs in front of a gold object? The sign reads, in part” “Some people adopt kids…” but there’s another word that’s illegible. It would be helpful to know the context for this photograph.

    Posted March 27, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    “Some people adopt kids. Get over it.”
    The clip is a protest outside Dolce and Gabanna store.

    Posted March 27, 2015 at 5:33 am | Permalink
  8. quinta vince said . . .

    Barbara, come sempre sono totalmente in accordo con tè! Dimmond è persona orribile! Troppo male è fatto a Michael! Lo sempre piangere!
    (As usual, I totally agree with you. Dimond is a horrible person. It is too bad what she did to Michael. I always cry.)

    Posted March 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    The most bullied man on the planet. Unwarranted. Undeserved. Why? Because it made people lots of money. Scandal sells whether it is truth or not. This generation can change that. Demand better media. Brian Williams departure is a sign that people are tired of mangling the truth or manufacturing lies. Join the movement! Hold people accountable and complain when it’s warranted.
    (L’uomo più atti di bullismo sul pianeta . Ingiustificata . Immeritato . Perché ? Perché ha fatto di persone un sacco di soldi . Scandalo vende se è vero o no . Questa generazione può cambiare la situazione . Demand Media migliori. Brian Williams partenza è un segno che la gente è stanca di pressare la verità o di fabbricazione bugie . Unisciti al movimento ! Tenere le persone responsabili e lamentarsi quando è giustificato .)

    Posted March 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  10. quinta vince said . . .

    (Dearest friend, thank you. May you go well.)

    Posted March 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  11. victoria said . . .

    As always, he was way, way ahead of us. He did 20 years ago what everyone is doing today. He was and is a visionary, a guide and set a standard for humanity to go beyond the norm, experience the possibilities that exist for each and every one of us. And because of this ability he was vilified for it…..

    Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:37 am | Permalink
  12. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    ART (Assisted Reproductive Therapy) has been around and common since the 1980s. The first “test tube baby” was born in 1978. And the first actual IVF (In-vitro fertilization) was in 1880- yes the 17th century!

    So the science and medical practice was around 20 years before Michael Jackson’s children were conceived. So why all the SCANDAL?

    Occasionally the culture requires someone to project its collective shadow upon. This serves to take the focus off the shadow within self so that no one has to examine or take ownership of their own inner darkness. Those projecting the loudest have the most shadow to relieve. When someone is running from their own shadow, projection becomes almost compulsive in the effort to stay ahead of the chasing shadow trying to break into consciousness. It gets frenzied.

    Hysteria, crowd mentality and mob frenzy was very much a part of the treatment of Michael Jackson. The bullying was a de facto lynching. So to find something positive or redeeming about him would have taken away the target for shadow projection and made the bullying undeserved. That would have meant self examination and guilt– unacceptable! So to keep finding justification for shadow was imperative. The loudest projections disguise the most shadow (Wetiko) in an individual. And a loud society hurling insults is possessed by collective Wetiko. Sometimes it’s also labeled “Windigo.”

    They didn’t want Michael Jackson to be a sexual being or they wanted him to be gay. That somewhat reduced the threat. (But it raised another avenue for shadow because of another myth linking gay men and pedophilia.) And they certainly didn’t want his children to be conceived in the normal way – sex. And yet this was a black man who was arousing the libido in young white women. Making him asexual or gay is actually the symbolic castration of a black male. It’s an old fear based on a myth of hypersexual black men unable to contain their brute urges especially with white women. It raised old fears and cultural taboos.

    And how dare he! A black man becomes rich; then he begins “changing his color from black to white,” and then this black man trying to be white has white children! It offended carefully constructed racial boundaries.

    So make no mistake it was, and still is… racist.

    Posted April 15, 2015 at 4:37 am | Permalink
  13. Josie said . . .

    It amazes me how the media/society reacts toward one person vs Michael Jackson. I think Michael was always placed to a different standard. Because he always did what was “different”‘and new and never conformed to the standards of Hollywood or society regarding what should happen with his life. He surpassed so many boundaries and became very powerful, a talked about loved figure around the world. He broke the ceilings and the Hollywood head honchos didn’t like it and so I believe they helped build these fake stories to ruin his image so he would not get more powerful. Hollywood wants people they can control not those that can control them. And Michael was that threat! So of course they were behind these bizarre stories about Michael and his having children or his marriages. It’s a double standard when it comes to him.

    Posted May 9, 2015 at 4:20 am | Permalink
  14. Gennie said . . .

    Barbara, it’s rather unfortunate that while correcting so many untruths about Michael, you repeat that old rumor about Lisa Marie. That story about him finding BC pills was printed in some tabloid back when they were married, just like so many others. It was never ever mentioned by anyone with any credibility. Writing that LMP never wanted his children although she told him she did in an article about racism is again unfortunate as it implies she didnt want to have kids with her black husband because he was black.

    Lisa said herself that she wanted to have children with Michael in the beginning and later changed her mind because of the instability of their relationship. He was clearly aware of that since they both said that they argued about it – you wouldn’t argue with your wife about her not wanting to get pregnant if you think she is trying as well. So, he knew.

    On topic: Don’t you think the society is just more used to people using IVF now than when Michael’s children were born? Michael was ahead of his time in many ways (not just musically), especially in his thinking. He was not the first one to have children his way, but it was still highly unusual back then. The issue of gay marriage wasn’t really seen as a human rights issue yet, not in the mainstream. Moreover, it definitely did not have the kind of support it has now. So, it’s not really fair to make the comparison that you are making and tie it only to race.

    It would be like comparing the treatment of women in the 90s and today and attributing the difference to race instead of a different era.

    Posted June 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  15. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    That “tabloid lie” about Lisa Marie and the pills was written in a note and stated in an article by an insider in Michael’s world. And I most certainly did NOT imply that Lisa Marie did not want to have babies because Michael was black! Lisa Marie clarified the relationship in an interview with Oprah. She said she was young and stubborn and that Michael had tried to make it work. It could not have been easy for her to know that another woman was waiting in the wings who had agreed to give him children. And it was unkind of him to threaten her with that information. He admitted he made mistakes as well. And they continued to see each other long after the split.

    Society is much more tolerant in general with sexuality, marriage and equality issues but there is still a long way to go. The first “test tube baby” Louise Brown made her entrance into the world in 1978 and it was all over the media. Prince Jackson was born in 1997– that’s almost 20 years later– enough time to get used to the idea of IVF. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child convened in 1989. The buzz and contrived scandal about Michael Jackson’s children was racist– a black man with “white” children ruffled some feathers and infuriated others. International adoptions were approved in 1961 and single parent adoptions in Los Angeles county were approved in 1965. There is also no doubt that Michael Jackson was deliberately targeted by the media and society encouraged by inflammatory media. And there is no doubt that much of it was racially motivated.

    Mocking people, humiliating them and targeting them for ridicule is wrong no matter what decade. Slavery and genocide which are what this country (U.S.A.) was built upon were wrong then and they are wrong now. To kidnap people, traffic them, enslave them, take away their rights and then abuse them after they are emancipated was evil. And evil is not tied to a clock. Our insides know what is soulful and what is not. People who want to instigate or continue evil will always find justification.

    While I agree with you about progress proceeding through an “era,” we are hard-wired for kindness and compassion. And if era is the justification, why is it true NOW that unarmed black men 21 times more likely to be killed by police than whites? And the stats are incomplete because reporting is voluntary. Finally now someone is tracking the actual police killings. Stay tuned to be shocked. Since a black president took office in America, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports more than a thousand new hate groups. This is not the post-racial American era.

    Posted June 11, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

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