Prince Jackson Lands Gig At Entertainment Tonight: What Ever Happened To Paying Your Dues?

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By Princess Gabbara

So, it’s Tuesday morning and I’m sitting at a desk in the front office where I work. I’m scrolling down my Twitter timeline and one tweet in particular grabs my attention: “Michael Jackson’s Son Lands ‘Entertainment Tonight’ Gig”

Pause for dramatic effect.

Michael Jackson’s son landed what? A gig? At Entertainment Tonight? As a special guest correspondent? (Sighs) I’m appalled.

Don’t get me wrong; I love me some MJ and have nothing against his children however, this is a classic case of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” only 10x worse.

Today, with eight out of 10 jobs being found through word of mouth, networking is obviously a huge factor while job hunting. With so many applicants competing for one position, it can easily come down to who you know, but to what extent is this acceptable?

I’m perfectly aware that this is nothing new. Yes, there have always been people who are hired based on who they know, but unless they’re also bringing along the necessary skills and experience, they shouldn’t be there.

What upset me about Prince Jackson landing the gig at Entertainment Tonight was the fact that 1) The kid is still in high school and 2) Has he ever taken a single journalism or broadcasting class in his life?

I’m not hating on the kid. In fact, I wish him all the best with his new gig and I’m happy to see that so far, he’s been on the right track following his father’s death.

But as far as I know, he has no prior work experience within the field. Sure, journalism/broadcasting are fields where you don’t always need a degree to succeed, but the fact that there are many journalists out there who have the experience, know what they’re doing and do it well but are struggling to find work or move up the ladder is beyond me.

On the other hand, we have someone like Prince Jackson, who’s just landed what’s considered by many to be a dream job because his father was (and still is) the king of pop. And if you think I’m singling him out, you’re wrong. Believe me, there are others. Take Kendall and Kylie Jenner (they’re related to the Kardashian clan), for example.

Last year, they became Seventeen magazine’s west coast fashion contributors. Yes, Kendall and Kylie can dress (I’ll admit there are a few pieces from their new clothing line at PacSun that I’m dying to get my hands on right now), but my point is: shouldn’t those jobs be left to the pros?

For those of you who think I’m overreacting, imagine this scenario: you’re applying for a position at The New York Times as an opinions columnist and you’re no rookie. No siree! You’ve been in this journalism game for about 10 years now. Your work has been featured in some of the biggest publications, including People and Rolling Stone.

Another candidate applies for the same position. He/she has just graduated from high school. The only publication they’ve written for is their school newspaper, but they get the job because their relative just so happens to be _______ (insert your favorite celebrity here).

“But wait,” you say to yourself. “That doesn’t seem fair.” Well, that’s because it’s not!

But this is the reality we’re facing here. People with famous relatives are landing gigs in industries where people have actually taken the time to hone and perfect their craft long before any big gig came their way. All I’m asking is:  whatever happened to paying your dues?

Yesterday, I saw this tweet from Vibe magazine: “Whose Got The X-Factor? 5 Females Who Should Audition To Be Khloe Kardashian’s Replacement on ‘The X-Factor’ ”

I was a little surprised to see some of the choices. Rocsi Diaz would certainly be an excellent choice. For six years, she co-hosted BET’s 106 & Park and more recently, she joined Entertainment Tonight as a weekend host. Kelly Osbourne also has experience with cohosting many red carpet events as well as E’s The Fashion Police.

But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the following choices: Christine Teigen (John Legend’s fiancée), Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton? Give me a break!

Wait a second. Why am I surprised? I mean, isn’t it all about who you know rather than what you know, anyway?

I rest my case.

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