Photo: The Grapevine – The Root
The premiere of HBO’s Leaving Neverland at Sundance Film Festival in January has resurfaced allegations of sexual abuse from the late pop icon Michael Jackson. The two-part HBO documentary details Wade Robson and James Safechuck claiming alleged sexual abuse from Jackson.
The documentary has led to a variety of responses including people condemning Jackson. Some have chosen not to believe in the accusations against the singer and denounced the credibility of the film.
Whether some people choose to side with Jackson or not, Leaving Neverland has tainted the singer’s legacy. Radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have announced they will stop playing Jackson’s music in response to the allegations from the documentary.
Leon Wratt, who is the group content director for MediaWorks’, a radio station in New Zealand said in an interview that “with something as controversial as what this Leaving Neverland was going to be, we’re certainly going to err on the side of caution here.”
Other responses to the Leaving Neverland documentary include the singer’s music declining in sales and streaming including Jackson 5 and The Jacksons music. According to Billboard, since the documentary premiered on HBO on March 3-4 to the public, the singer’s album sales fell by 39 percent, and his combined singles and album sales faced a dropped of 8,000.
Even former child star Corey Feldman, a defender of Jackson said that after watching the film, he could no longer defend the singer.
While some choose to condemn Jackson, buses in London are running ads that claim the singer is innocence. Supporters of Jackson ran two separate ads on the sides of buses in London. One ad is a picture of Jackson with the word “innocent” over his mouth and included the text, “Facts Don’t Lie. People Do.” The other ad has a picture of the top half of the pop star’s face with the text, “#MJINNOCENT.”
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