Stevie Wonder: ‘I Can’t Handle’ New Michael Jackson Film, ‘This Is It’

November 17, 2009 - 5:29 PM
Grammy award-winning musician Stevie Wonder said in an exclusive interview that he emotionally "can't handle" the Michael Jackson film "This is It" which is currently playing in theaters.

Stevie Wonder (Wikipedia Commons)

(CNSNews.com) - Grammy award-winning musician Stevie Wonder said in an exclusive interview that he emotionally “can’t handle” the Michael Jackson film “This is It” which is currently playing in theaters. Wonder also commented on the public dispute over Michael Jackson’s will, saying he hopes Jackson’s mother and the family “get what they’re supposed to receive.”
 
Wonder spoke with CNSNews.com in an exclusive audio interview before his performance at a benefit concert for the Maya Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization that raises money for special education programs in private schools. 
 
CNSNews.com asked Wonder, “Do you think he [Michael Jackson] would have wanted the movie to be released even though it’s all rehearsal footage?”
 
“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” said Wonder. “I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m sure I will go see it but, emotionally, I can’t really handle going to see it now.”
 

 
Wonder hopes the movie is “very successful” and that the family gets what they are ‘supposed to receive’ from Michael Jackson’s will.
 
“I will say that I hope the film, the movie is very successful and I hope that his children, his mother and the family get what their supposed to receive,” he said.
 
When asked if he thinks controversial hip-hop lyrics could negatively impact youth, Wonder said it’s ‘down to the parents.’
 
“I think, again, you know, it’s down to the parents, isn’t it?” said Wonder. “I mean, really, a lot of the children that listen to it, their parents are hip-hop lovers and so, you know, they need to explain to their children, you know, they all get into their heads and how they think and when they hear how their feeling.”
 
He recalled a personal experience he had with his son listening to hip-hop music.
 
“I know when my son brought some stuff home he was like 16 years old,” said Wonder. “I talked with him about some things. I said, ‘Would you call a woman a bitch? Would you call a women a ho?’ He said no. I said why? Why wouldn’t you do that – because it’s not right? Would you do this? Would you do that?”
 
“So, we had a conversation about it,” he said. “I mean, he laughed, we laughed about different songs we were listening to about different stuff that was happening then. I think there has to be a relationship with parents. Parents can feel okay, you know, whether they be older parents or still kind of young parents, they have to have the communication with their children and it makes a difference.”
 
Violence is often a topic in modern hip-hop music. Wonder said a problem that concerns him is how easy it is to obtain a gun in America.
 
“Guns are so accessible to young people and I think we have to work out a technology that makes people more accountable with what they do, having a gun,” he said.
 
“You know, the Constitution says it’s all right, you know, to bear arms but, my God, we’re not living in the 16th century, 17th century -- this is like 2001,” he said. “We’re in the new millennium and people are still acting like we’re in, you know, come on, forget about it. So, I just think that, I’m very, very, very critical on how accessible guns are to people.”
 
Stevie Wonder has won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any male solo artist in history. He signed a record deal with Motown Records when he was 11 and still records for the label today. His most well-known hits include, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “My Cherie Amour,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and ‘Superstition.’
 
Below is a transcript of the CNSNews.com  interview with Stevie Wonder:
 
Nicholas Ballasy, video reporter, CNSNews.com: “As a music legend, what do you think is lacking in the music industry today?”
 
Stevie Wonder: “You know, art is a reflection of society. Society is a reflection of art, you know. So, I mean, a lot of what is being done, written about, it kind of reflects the spirit of a lot of the people – a certain group or mindset of people. Education in this country, you know, you have certain educational channels but the reality is people are – like reality television. These are things that people see on television – a lot of these you can see just walking down the street or just being in the neighborhood you might be from but people are – they’re impressed with craziness but I think it’s just a fad. I think that we go through different stages, people get tired of different things after a while but you know, Americans just overdo it, then – ah, you know, it’s like okay, no more, no more.”
 
CNSNews.com: “Do you have any thoughts on the current public dispute over Michael Jackson and his situation with the will and the estate? Do you have any comment on that?”
 
Stevie Wonder: “Not really because that’s their business. But I will say that I hope the film, the movie is very successful, and I hope that his children, his mother and the family get what their supposed to receive.”
 
CNSNews.com: “Do you think he would have wanted the movie to be released even though it’s all rehearsal footage?”
 
Stevie Wonder: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m sure I will go see it but, emotionally, I can’t really handle going to see it now.”
 
CNSNews.com: “As far as music is concerned, I recently interviewed rapper Ludacris, talked about his music and how it could affect children. Do you think hip-hop lyrics, controversial lyrics, could negatively impact youth?”
 
Stevie Wonder: “I think, again, you know, it’s down to the parents, isn’t it? I mean, really, a lot of the children that listen to it, their parents are hip-hop lovers and so, you know, they need to explain to their children, you know, they all get into their heads and how they think and when they hear how their feeling. I know when my son brought some stuff home, he was like 16 years old. I talked with him about some things. I said, ‘Would you call a woman a bitch? Would you call a women a ho?’ He said no. I said why? Why wouldn’t you do that – because it’s not right? Would you do this? Would you do that? So, we had a conversation about it. I mean, he laughed, we laughed about different songs we were listening to about different stuff that was happening then. I think there has to be a relationship with parents. Parents can feel okay, you know, whether they be older parents or still kind of young parents, they have to have the communication with their children and it makes a difference.
 
“Guns are so accessible to young people and I think we have to work out a technology that makes people more accountable with what they do, having a gun. You know, the Constitution says it’s all right, you know, to bear arms but, my God, we’re not living in the 16th century, 17th century -- this is like 2001. We’re in the new millennium and people are still like we’re in, you know, come on, forget about it. So, I just think that, I’m very, very, very critical on how accessible guns are to people.”