Michael Jackson's Charity Single Dropped After Producer's Porn Ties Revealed

By | July 15, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Michael Jackson’s advisors were the ones who asked Sony Music to abandon the singer’s charity single, “What More Can I Give,” after it was discovered that the song’s executive producer, F. Marc Schaffel, had ties to the gay-pornography industry, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In his highly publicized dispute with Sony, Jackson claimed that the label refused to release the single. He has also accused Sony of inadequately promoting his latest album, Invincible; alleged that Sony CEO Tommy Mottola is a racist; and charged that the label has conspired to steal from African-American artists.

“What More Can I Give” was reportedly dropped after McDonald’s pulled out of a multimillion-dollar deal to sell the single in its restaurants. According to sources, McDonald’s was afraid there would be a negative response from customers because of Jackson’s involvement in a 1993 child-molestation case that was later settled for a reported $20 million

According to internal records and documents obtained by the Times, Jackson’s advisors asked Sony to abandon “What More Can I Give” after they found out that Jackson had brought Schaffel on board to executive produce the star-studded single, and that Jackson had signed over the song’s rights to Schaffel. Jackson’s representatives declined to comment, but did tell the Times that when they and Jackson discovered Schaffel’s background, they immediately ended their association with him. Reportedly, Sony declined comment, and representatives from McDonald’s could not be reached for comment Thursday night (July 11). Calls LAUNCH placed to Sony on Friday (July 12) seeking comment were not returned by press time.

Schaffel, who said he had produced and directed numerous gay pornography videos, said that his background in the adult film business was no secret. Said Schaffel, “I don’t keep anything in my life hidden. I’m Michael’s friend…I think this was just a smokescreen threat sent to shut this single down because of a bigger fight going on. It’s a shame because, in the end, so many people could’ve been helped.”

Despite the mudslinging between Jackson and Sony, the Reverend Al Sharpton still believes the “King Of Pop” will be exonerated when the media circus dies down. Speaking at a press conference during his National Action Network (NAN) summit, Sharpton told reporters he’s delighted Jackson has join his cause. “I never imagined that when we decided to do it (the NAN summit) that the biggest seller of all time, Michael Jackson, will be part of it,” he said. “Usually, usually we have to start with people that will never generate that kind of excitement, and I think that when all of the smoke is cleared, he still is the biggest record seller of all time, and he said we must deal with racism.”

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