“PRINCE” Michael Jackson (standing) interviewed the cast of “Oz the Great and the Powerful”—among them (from left) director Sam Raimi, James Franco, and Zach Braff—on “Entertainment Tonight” recently.]

MANILA, MARCH 18, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Nestor U. Torre - When he was alive, Michael Jackson did his utmost to keep his three children hidden from public sight. Perhaps he was doing so in preemptive reaction to his own sad experience as a child celebrity who was constantly fighting for his privacy against the intrusive media and other gawkers.

In any case, he even took the extreme step of sometimes covering his kids’ faces with blankets and such, to protect and preserve their all-important privacy and anonymity.

It would thus appear to be logical to surmise that, had he not passed away, Jackson would have made sure that his kids didn’t pursue entertainment careers of their own. After all, he had earned more than enough to support all of them up to the end of their days!

[Michael Jackson with son Prince Michael Jackson]

Well, that’s all changed. Jackson’s son, Michael Jr., also known as “Prince” Michael, was only 12 when his father died in 2009. He dutifully stayed out of the public spotlight.

He and his siblings did speak to their father’s fans during his funeral service, and at the Grammys in 2010, when they accepted a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf.

Late last month, however, Prince Michael served as a guest correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight,” interviewing the cast of “Oz the Great and the Powerful.” Only 16, he did well enough to be invited back by the program, and he quickly accepted.

Pressed to talk about his career plans in greater detail, he obliged: “I want to become well-rounded as a producer, director, screenwriter and actor.” Papa Michael may be turning exquisitely in his grave!

[27 Feb 2013]

What about Michael’s second child, Paris? She’s the beauty in their nuclear family, so it’s logical to believe that she could be getting ready to eventually come on strong as a singer-actor in her own right. However, she has yet to talk about her career plans.

In 2012, Paris did agree to an extensive interview by Oprah Winfrey, during which she talked about her father, her childhood, and having been a victim of bullying.

Clearly, she isn’t about to opt for a life of total privacy and anonymity, either. We should be hearing more from her soon!

[July 1, 2010 ]

The most unknown factor in the Jacksons’ evolving equation is the youngest child, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II—so named, because his was the little face that a blanket literally hid from public view when he was only 2.

Will he eventually step out from behind his (security) blanket as well? Only time will tell.

If the “law” of sibling rivalry has anything to say on the matter, he could end up as the most “driven” and competitive Jackson kid in the litter!

It goes without saying that all this talk about show biz careers and such would have saddened Papa Michael, were he still around.

He really did suffer greatly from the negative consequences of precocious celebrity, not to mention the added onus and burden of being his large family’s little star—and top breadwinner.

It was wise of him to want to protect his own children from all that—but it looks like talent will out despite parental limitations and prohibitions, so let’s hope that the Jackson children will have generally positive careers—that will prove their late father’s worst fears wrong!

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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