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This just in: Michael Jackson's estate inks record-breaking deal, Johnny Weir not participating in Stars on Ice

Michael Jackson poses backstage at the 1984 Grammy Awards with his eight awards. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)
  • The Michael Jackson estate is poised to cash in big, via a just-signed $200 million contract with Sony for 10 projects over seven years, the Associated Press reports. The biggest recording deal in history will include an album of never-before-released material to be issued in November, a source told the AP.
  • The "Stars on Ice" figure-skating tour is denying that it excluded Johnny Weir because, well, everyone thinks he's gay. The fur-wearing Olympics favorite has avoided publicly discussing his sexual orientation, but in an interview last week he said the tour barred him because he's "not family-friendly"; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation followed with a petition chiding organizers. The tour, which comes to D.C. on April 8, issued a statement saying that "gender identity and sexual orientation" are not a factor in choosing performers -- this year, Evan Lysacek, Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, among others -- and that they just don't have room for everyone.

By The Reliable Source  |  March 17, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  This Just In...  
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Don't like the decision about Weir? Don't give them your money, give them your opinion. It is all about gayness. Who owns Stars on Ice? Pat Robertson? Erik Prince?

Posted by: citizen625 | March 17, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

SOI is owned by the International Management Group (IMG), a huge sports marketing conglomerate. The tour was started in the late 1980s as a venue for IMG clients like Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill, and they always seem to have favored their own skaters over those who work with other agents (they are, after all, making a commission off themselves, and likely negotiating lower fees when they hire IMG clients to skate in an IMG show).

Weir is not and has never been an IMG client, which isn't in his favor, but a number of skaters on this year's tour aren't either. Evan Lysacek, however, IS -- and he's the headline male skater.

It has been suggested that the major sponsor of the tour, Smuckers, has blackballed Johnny because of his flamboyant, un-"family-friendly" image. So if you want to boycott somebody, stop buying jam in the little plaid jars.

My personal reading is that the tour also doesn't relish the possibility that Johnny might steal Evan's limelight. Lysacek is a great competitor, but he can't get a crowd going like Our Boy Johnny. Not even close. Imagine the embarrassment if, night after night, the Olympic champion performs to polite applause and Mr. Sixth Place brings down the house?

I think IMG has chosen to eschew Johnny because doing so keeps Smuckers happy and because it will please their headliner, the new Olympic champion, whom they hope to keep around for a few more seasons.

Posted by: maryqjones | March 18, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Weir is one of the most entertaining and fun to watch skaters out there, if not THE most. Yes, Lysacek won the gold, but Johnny PERFORMS, which is the key component of a show like stars on ice. Please vote with your money and don't go see this show that obviously discriminates against someone who has chosen to to authentic and himself. Love Be Good Johnny Weir!!

Posted by: cbrabsonut | March 21, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

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