La Toya Jackson is one of the members and stars of the famous Jackson family. She has enjoyed a long and successful career, and has garnered fans around the world. The star can be seen on her new reality show entitled, “Life with La Toya.” The show premiered on Saturday, April 13, and can be seen on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The show airs on Saturday nights at 10:30/9:30c. The new reality show is a success, and fans are tuning in every weekend to see what is chronicled next. A lot has been documented thus far, including a past trip returning to Gary, Indiana for a candlelight vigil on Michael Jackson’s birthday. “Life with La Toya” provides the numerous fans with an opportunity to see what takes place in the life of the superstar.
Jackson spoke with usedview.com. She discussed everything from the success of her new reality show, and the countless fans of the Jackson family, to the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Katrina-Kasey Wheeler: Is doing a reality show something that you have always been interested in doing, or was it a way to address things that you wanted to address?
La Toya Jackson: You hit the nail on the head. I’ve always been offered but never wanted to have my own show. I felt that things needed to be addressed, and this is a great vehicle to do that. People not knowing who we are as a family, and not even knowing who I am — I wanted them to know that they have been getting it all wrong. I’m just going to be myself, do my show, and the audience can be the judge of that.
KKW: Did you have any reservations about doing this show, or were you completely sure that it is something you wanted to do?
LJ: I knew that at this stage and point in my life, it is something that I needed to do. I needed to be a voice. I felt that I could also help other women that have gone through situations in an abusive marriage or relationship. I knew that I could be that voice. I never thought that I would be able to get away, and I did escape it. People constantly ask me about how I was able to get away. I want women to know that just because they have been in a situation like that doesn’t mean that they have to be down constantly or in a corner. You have to express yourself and become a new person; be the person that you always were and get out there, as I am out there. I am an example that anyone can do this as well.
KKW: You have such a wonderful platform to be that shining example for so many that are inspired by the mere fact that you have shared your own experience.
LJ: You know what it is? Women are so hurt. They feel robbed of their self-esteem and sense of worth. They have this fear instilled in them, and because of that, they feel that they are worthless. They feel as though they can never be who they wish or wanted to be — it robs and takes away a part of them. I want them to know that they never have to let anyone control them in that way again. You are an individual in control of your own destiny. Take charge and move forward. That is everything that I want to show them.
KKW: There are so many fantastic programs that air on OWN [Oprah Winfrey Network]. What do you think of the programming on the network, and why did you decide that OWN was the right fit for the show?
LJ: I teamed up with World of Wonder. World of Wonder took it to OWN and other networks. Every network that we took the show to wanted it, and there was like a race to get it. However, I will say that with OWN, I like Oprah. She has been an inspiration to all. I like the fact that she is very positive in everything that she does, and that is who I am. I want to let women know that they can live a life, and be positive. I also know that OWN gave us the liberty to do whatever we wanted. They were so nice about everything — and the other networks were too — but I felt that OWN was a perfect marriage. The network has so many new amazing things coming out soon, and viewers will be so surprised. The network is young and growing, and that is one of the great things about it.
KKW: The fans appreciate the fact that you are giving them access into your life by way of “Life with La Toya.” The fans are loving the show, are you surprised by the response that it is receiving?
LJ: It is so rewarding to see the response. Because when I’m doing the show, I’m just being me. You never know what people are going to think. The response is so great. I am also happy that people can really see who I am (for the first time), and not prejudge. I just want to thank everyone, even those who contact me to tell me how much they love the show. I love hearing that. Everytime I get a tweet (@LaToyaJackson), I embrace it, and it means a lot to me. It is so nice to hear pleasant things when we live in a world where people breed off of negativity.
KKW: Do you ever marvel at the influence and impact that you and your family have had on the world? Your family is musical royalty that has inspired millions worldwide, and will continue to do so with future generations. Your reality show provides people with the ability to connect further and to share in the experience.
LJ: It gives the public the opportunity to look inside at our lives. I think what people are seeing now is completely different from what they always thought they knew. Now people get to see the real deal of what is really happening. And yes, we are very thankful and grateful for how God has really blessed us in being able to reach out to so many different people. I have to give that credit to not just my parents and of course God, but my brother [Michael Jackson]. He was an incredible artist, who had a lot to give for people to see.
KKW: What was the process like to film for a reality show? Did you enjoy the process. Would a second season be something that you would consider?
LJ: I really enjoy it because it is not like you’re working. It is just doing what I do everyday and the cameras are just there. I don’t even notice them after a while. So if I have to travel somewhere, the cameras will come along. For example, during the taping of “Celebrity Apprentice,” the cameras came. If I have to go do something in Europe, the cameras follow me. So it really isn’t like work, I am just doing what I would normally be doing. The only difference is that it is being documented and everyone gets to see it.
KKW: One of the recent episodes of the show chronicled your trip to Gary, Indiana, to Jackson Street. First of all, what was it like to return to your childhood home? Was that a full-circle moment for you, since you have gone on to achieve so much in life? And to see the response from the fans that showed up for the candlelight vigil for Michael Jackson?
LJ: Going back on that trip brought back so many memories of being a little girl and I was remembering things that I didn’t even know that I recalled. Being in that house — everything just came back to me. It was beautiful but also sentimental. It was difficult for my mother and me because there were a lot of tears. Although the public didn’t see all the tears, there were a lot because like my mother said, Michael was no longer there to share those moments with us.
KKW: Michael Jackson was such a beacon of light to the world. Not only has he inspired millions around the world, he has inspired the majority of today’s most prolific artists. In fact, in R. Kelly’s memoir, “Soulacoaster,” I feel that he expressed perfectly how everyone feels about Michael and how we have all been personally affected by his existence and artistry. Kelly said: “In truth, he can never leave us. Michael Jackson is a permanent part of our lives. His music is so deep in us that nothing can erase it.” He went on to say: “The best way I can express my love for Michael Jackson is to make sure my music honors his legacy.” Michael was the type of artist that will only come into the world once. What is it like for you to know that he has profoundly touched the lives of so many by his music and all that he did for humanity?
LJ: I really thank R. Kelly for that because it is so profound. He is engraved in all of us as a staple. He is absolutely right. It is just so amazing that Michael is able to touch people as talented as R. and they can see this and express this to the world.
KKW: The song that you released “Home” was well-received by the fans, and you have so much musical talent, is this something that you are interested in doing once again?
LJ: My mind has always been really wrapped around business. Music has been a part of me because of my family and background. However, you will be seeing me explore music on the show.
KKW: You are good friends with Kathy Hilton, and she appeared on a recent episode of your show. What was it like to have such a dear friend appear on the show?
LJ: It is fun, it is not like work. We are just being us. It is just a lot of fun.
KKW: You had said that adopting a child is something that could be in your future. What are your thoughts on that possibility now.
LJ: It is something that I have always wanted to do. The public will see this topic come up on the show. It is something that I have wanted to do since the age of sixteen. The question is now, at this stage in my life, do I think that I can do it?
KKW: What would you like to say to all of your fans that have shown their support, care and concern for you and your family throughout the years?
LJ: I just really want to thank every single person, and every single fan that has supported me and my family. I want to let them know that they are so appreciated. I am so happy that I can give everyone an inside look at who I am, my life, and my family’s life. For the first time, the public can see who we truly are. I appreciate everything that the fans tell me and every Twitter message. I want them to know that there is so much more to come, so keep watching. I want the fans to remember to keep a positive attitude and be kind to everyone.