By Brian M. Raftery
Updated July 19, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

MICHAEL MELTDOWN NO. 1 King of Agitprop Michael Jackson attacks ”devilish” Sony honcho Tommy Mottola for alleged racism in a July 6 NYC rally. (Sony calls the charges ”ludicrous.”) Latest Flop Invincible, which reportedly cost $55 million in production and marketing — and sold a very vincible 2 million copies in the U.S. Shameless bid for sympathy ”Record companies really, really do conspire against the artists. They steal.” Is the gripe legit? After a costly video and millions spent in promotion, the Sony showdown smacks of desperation. Even activist Al Sharpton, who championed Jacko during the event, backpedaled like a maniacal moonwalker once talk turned to Mottola.

MICHAEL MELTDOWN NO. 2 Agent provocateur Michael Ovitz attacks a cabal of Hollywood execs he dubs ”the Gay Mafia” for sabotaging his business in August’s Vanity Fair. (He later apologized for using the term.) Latest Flop He sunk a reported $100 million of his own dough into launching Artists Management Group, which went south (sold in May for $12 million). Shameless bid for sympathy ”[It’s hard] for people to see me as a victim, but in this case it’s pretty close to the truth.” Is the gripe legit? In a storied cutthroat career, Ovitz made an enemies list longer than Nixon’s. But as banker pal Herbert Allen noted, AMG’s business plan ”[didn’t] make any sense.”