- Radio stations from around the globe have banned Michael Jackson’s music.
- The move follows the release of the HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” which aired Sunday and contains disturbing allegations of child sexual misconduct at the hands of the singer.
- Dozens of stations in Canada and New Zealand, including the public broadcaster, RNZ, pulled the music following backlash over the film.
- Jackson faced similar misconduct allegations before his death in 2009. His estate has criticised “Leaving Neverland” as “an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.”
Radio stations from around the globe have banned Michael Jackson’s music following the release of the four-hour HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” which contains disturbing allegations of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Thriller singer.
The film chronicles allegations from two men who claim they were groomed and sexually abused at the hands of the singer when they were children.
New Zealand’s public broadcaster, RNZ, said on Wednesday that it does not currently play Jackson’s music as part of its regular rotation. Several of its competitors, including MediaWorks which runs nine major commercial stations in the country, also confirmed that Jackson’s music was pulled from all its stations as “a reflection of our audiences and their preferences.”
Three major Canadian stations have also taken Jackson’s music off the air. Cogeco Media, which owns the three large stations as well as 23 smaller stations in the country, told Variety: “We are attentive to the comments of our listeners, and the documentary released on Sunday evening created reactions.”
“We prefer to observe the situation by removing the songs from our stations, for the time being.”
Reports indicated that other large broadcasters, including BBC2 Radio, had banned Michael Jackson’s music, though a representative for the station told Variety that the BBC doesn’t ban artists. “We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind.”
The “Leaving Neverland” documentary aired Sunday on HBO, though viewers who saw the film when it premiered at Sundance Film Festival weeks earlier called the allegations “harrowing.“
In the film, two men who worked with Jackson as boys, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, discussed how their relationship with Jackson developed over the course of several years, and say that the singer initiated repeated sexual interactions with them and other boys. Allegations range from the singer sleeping in the same bed as the boys to staging a mock wedding ceremony with Safechuck.
Jackson faced similar misconduct allegations before his death in 2009. His estate has criticised “Leaving Neverland” as “an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson.”
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