When the president of Sony Music called George Michael a faggot.
No one seems to remember the incident between George Michael and the president of Sony Music America.
George Michael set up a meeting with Tommy Mottola, then the Sony U.S. president. Michael by then had sold over 80 million records worldwide, reaping huge profits for the company.
Michael was not happy with how his new album was being marketed. Suddenly, from behind closed doors, the Sony staff could hear Mottola shouting: "Get this FAGGOT out of my office!"
George left. Mattola's homophobia shocked him.
Homophobia is at the root of this story -- internalized by George and practiced by Mottola. I was shocked when a Sony employee told me about this incident
He went back to England. Sued Columbia and spent six years without a release in the US
Finally David Geffen signed him to his new label DREAMWORKS after settling the lawsuit which give Dreamworks all rights in the US for a new George Michael album. A hit. George Michael was back on thr charts in the US ,
Than the arrest in a public bathroom on Sunset Bloavard in Beverly Hills. happened. A public bathroom that had been the frequent target of police entrapment of gay men. The arrest made headlines across the world.
Michael (finally) came out.
He made this video celebrating human sexuality and vamping on cops who criminalize adult consensual acts.
Not much has changed when it comes to the corporate music industry. They're happy to see their artists remain closeted and make them money. (Look at hip-hop; kudos to Frank Ocean.) America is the worst, with its dishonest Puritan policing of adult sexuality.
Very sad to learn of George's passing. But he stood up for himself after he was very publicly outed. Yes, he could have come out earlier -- but Mottola's action gives one insight into why he did not. I wish Elton talked about this part of Michaels's life. He knew about it, but has not...so far.