Anchorman Lee Thomas several years ago without his makeup
On Michael Jackson: “When I learned that I had it. I didn’t believe that he (Michael Jackson) had it. I was a skeptic. Then I got the disease, researched the disease, and then I went, ‘can’t believe that…’ all the things that I thought, and it made me feel almost bad that I made so many assumptions about someone I had never met.
Anchorman Lee Thomas
“I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of my skin, it’s something that I cannot help, OK? But when people make up stories that I don’t want to be what I am it hurts me.”
Oprah Winfrey interview 1993
It will surprise and shock (and horrify) some as to the origins of the “freak” moniker and how it ties into vitiligo.
Some of you may be shocked at the contents of the following video and the origins of the “wacko jacko, freak” monikers and how they go back to vitiligo sufferers of years ago being used as circus freak show acts:
Much thanks to David Edwards for alerting me to this video
So much rumor and speculation surrounds the drastic change of Michael Jackson’s skincolor. So many misconceptions out there about Michael, his innocence, the accusations and allegations, his skincolor, and nearly everything else about him became, to the media, and the public, fair game for discussion and jokes, many times with no facts or truth to back up what was being said.
Here, anchorman Lee Thomas speaks about his journey with the disease, and also on Michael Jackson, the pressure Michael Jackson was under being a global celebrity with this disease, the treatments available (which include a form of skin bleaching to make the skin a more uniform color), and why Michael’s skin drastically changed. He mentions how he himself has to reapply his makeup after a newscast and how difficult it must have been for Michael performing, dancing, sweating on stage and how Michael’s signature glove figured in and how once he stopped wearing the glove, how Michael’s hands resembled Lee’s, because they were pigment-less.
Continue to read and watch the quotes, information and videos below, including a very surprising, eye-opening look at the origins of the “freak show” name-calling of those who suffer from Vitiligo and how that trickled down to Michael Jackson and others who suffer from the disease.
I’m just a reporter…you read what you get, you study as much as you can….I thought everything that every regular person thought about him from the outside looking in….and then when the spots happened, it’s like smacking you into reality. You go, okay, you got this, but what do you do? And then you think, what would you do if you had a face that looked like this (referring to his own face) and you were THE most famous person on the planet at that time, we’re talking about right after Thriller. What do you do? You hide it. SO what do you do? You hide. You hide it. Until you can get your mind around what in the world is going on and if it keeps going, then what do you do?
At one point, Thomas had a child run away from him screaming when she saw his face as she didn’t understand. He said that he stayed in his house for 2 weeks after that. Watching this will help everyone get a much better perspective on what Michael Jackson went through having this very appearance-altering disease while in the public eye.
What I know about him, and what I know about this disease is that yes he had it, yes, nobody believed that he had it and people thought he wanted to be white, which is far from anyone’s truth who has this disease. It’s so much not a choice.
You will also see how much Lee’s vitiligo has progressed in the last few years from the above picture:
Here is the interview:
In Part 3 below, Thomas mentions that sometimes it was Michael Jackson himself putting these odd stories out. To my knowledge, this is speculation and has never been said to have been true. In fact, Michael himself denied it many times. But the rest of the interview really brings much more understanding of the emotional aspects of the disease.
So, for someone to say that anyone with this disease wanted to be what this disease is, which is not even white. It’s void of color…So for someone to say that he (Michael Jackson) wanted to be white, it’s not white. It’s void of color, and he didn’t want it. It happened, and it happens on it’s own and it just progresses on it’s own..
People think whatever they want, the longer you’re quiet. Once you educate them, everything changes. Once you educate them, hopefully people understand that there is a reason that this is happening and that it is out of your control, and you try to control it, but nothing is really under your control….
Your body fights for normalcy, so you get spots of pigment, back, little dots of brown would come in, they do with me, so you get these spots and I heard that one of his dancers said he had a few spots on his hand coming in…or I talked to a friend of his that said he had some spots on his back. The pigment continues to fight to come back. I remember seeing a picture of him (Michael Jackson) and he’s wearing a mask, and the mask was moved a little bit and you could see little spots around his nose and around his mouth, brown pigment spots and that’s the thing about bleaching. If I have to bleach, I have to bleach for the rest of my life….
I know numerous people who depigment completely and they don’t get what I get. The stares. The look away. I chose to be the spokesperson for this disease. So when I walk down the street, I choose to look forward and not give anybody eye contact. So they can stare at me, and that’s what happens. So I understand what they’ve done (depigment) and I don’t fault them for it….
If you look at me, you keep looking. You keep staring. You go, what is that? What’s wrong with that guy? You know. All the way down the street. All the way across the room. It’s tough to live with.
With the strength of others’ support, I’ve grown strong in this, but I couldn’t imagine having MILLIONS of people looking at you and getting that negative look from everybody. I don’t know if I were him (Michael Jackson) if I could do what I am doing now, because mine was small and it grew into something larger where I go to different places and people expect to see me like this. I speak about my journey and they expect to see this, so they almost understand, they show me compassion. But there’s a lot of compassion-less people that don’t have nice things to say.
Lee mentions that IF Michael would have talked about it, he feels Michael would have gotten support.
“I’m proud of my heritage. I’m proud of it. I’m proud to be black. I’m honored to be black, and I just hope one day they will be fair in portraying me the way I really, really am….just a loving, peaceful guy wanting to make wonderful, unprecedented entertainment and songs and music and film for the world. That’s all I want to do. I’m no threat. I just want to do that. That’s what I want to do. To bring joy to the world.”
Michael Jackson in a Steve Harvey radio interview in 2002
The truth, however, is that Michael DID talk about it, he talked about it in his big interview with Oprah and was very candid about it, but, unfortunately, the media and the public did NOT support him as they have Lee, but rather criticized him further, did not believe him, and according to people who knew Michael well, the media DID know as a fact that he suffered from this disease, but they continued to run their “skin bleaching, wanting to be white” stories, and still do to this day.
Does it hurt? I’m Human. I Am Human
Short video showing picture proof of Michael Jackson’s vitiligo. Please ignore the last statements in the video which are said in anger by the person who created it:
Here was Lee’s original 20/20 interview done several years ago:
I will go into this subject and many others in much greater detail in the upcoming conclusion to the “Debunking the Demonic Deception” series, Parts 4 & 5.
“I believe what people fail to realize is that Michael was a human being.”
Long-time friend of Michael’s and one of the many people whom Michael cared for and helped throughout the years
For further information on Vitiligo and videos that show Michael’s vitiligo, please visit http://www.reflectionsonthedance.com/Factsversusfiction.html#anchor_114