jacksonkids Michael Jacksons Kids Shill for Grandpa JoeFor so many reasons, Michael Jackson must have been spinning in his million-dollar mausoleum last night.

His kids, Prince and Paris, whom he draped in bee keeper’s hats and masks to keep them out of the public, took center stage and accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards.

Yes, they were poised and articulate. That certainly shows that Jackson’s parenting was better than anyone could have guessed.

But their remarks were scripted. And when Prince Michael, Jackson’s 12-year-old son with Debbie Rowe, spoke, it was worth examining what he said. He acknowledged both his “grandma” — Katherine Jackson, his legal guardian — and his “grandpa,” Joe Jackson, whom Michael hated. Joe Jackson is currently suing Michael’s estate to get a $20,000-per-month allowance.Michael would have returned to being black before he would have let his kids have anything to do with Joe Jackson. Praising him in public? Never. And poor Prince didn’t realize he was shilling for his “grandpa.” That part was sad.

But this was very much like little Paris’ comments on the same stage — the Staples Center — last July at Michael’s memorial service. That’s when Janet Jackson encouraged the 10-year-old to come forward and make a statement about Michael in front of a stadium of strangers.

Michael Jackson’s kids don’t know it yet, but they are being as stage-managed as their predecessors, Michael and his brothers and Janet, when they were children. It’s a little heartbreaking.

Hopefully, the probate judge in Joe Jackson’s case won’t be swayed by this performance. But it will certainly be interesting to see if Prince’s speech winds up in court papers drawn up for Joe Jackson. Stay tuned.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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