They Don't Care About Us (Immortal Version)
"They Don't Care About Us" is the fifth single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, and was released in April 16, 1996. It is a protest song and remains one of the most controversial pieces Jackson ever composed. In the US, media scrutiny surrounding allegations of antisemitic lyrics were the catalyst for Jackson issuing multiple clarifications, an apology, defense from director Spike Lee and re-releasing the song with a new vocal featuring altered lyrics. The singer countered allegations of antisemitism, arguing that reviews had misinterpreted the context of the song, either unintentionally or deliberately.
"They Don't Care About Us" was accompanied by two music videos directed by Lee. The first was shot in two locations in Brazil, in Pelourinho, the historic city center of Salvador, and in a favela of Rio de Janeiro called Dona Marta, where the state authorities had tried to ban all production over fears the video would damage their image, the area and prospects of Rio de Janeiro staging the 2004 Olympics. Still, the residents of the area were happy to see the singer, hoping their problems would be made visible to a wider audience. The second video was shot in a prison and contained video footage of multiple references to human rights abuses.
Commercially, "They Don't Care About Us" became a top ten hit in all European countries and number one in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Italy. In the US, the song peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"They Don't Care About Us" was performed as part of a medley with "Scream" and "In the Closet" during Jackson's third and final concert series, the HIStory World Tour, which ran from 1996 to 1997. The song was set to be performed on Jackson's This Is It comeback concert series at The O2 Arena in London from July 2009 to March 2010 but the shows were cancelled due to his sudden death on June 25, 2009. "They Don't Care About Us" was remixed with parts of songs such as "Privacy" (from the album Invincible) and "Tabloid Junkie" (from HIStory), and released on the Immortal album, in November 2011.
Last Updated: July 13, 2021