HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary has put a spotlight on Michael Jackson’s child sexual abuse allegations once again. In the wake of the series, several radio stations have reportedly pulled the King Of Pop’s music from rotation.
According to CNN, radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have already enacted the ban.
“Michael Jackson isn’t currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations’ playlists,” Leon Wratt, the company’s director for radio, said in a statement. “This is a reflection of our audiences and their preferences — it is our job to ensure our radio stations are playing the music people want to hear.”
Competitor NZME followed suit. NZME entertainment director Dean Buchanan told the New Zealand Herald, “NZME station playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them.”
A spokesman for Radio NZ, a publicly-funded broadcaster, said they won’t completely ban Jackson’s music but would only play Jackson if it was “part of a news story or to provide color around a commentary piece.”
Leaving Neverland centers on the accusations of choreographer Wade Robson and James Safechuck who both accuse the pop legend of sexually abusing them when they were kids. The Michael Jackson Estate is pushing back against the series and calling it a “public lynching.”
Robson and Safechuck previously testified in support of Jackson but evidently changed their stories. Jackson’s sex abuse case later filed by Robson was dismissed in 2017.
The 10-year anniversary of Jackson’s passing is inching closer. The pop star died on June 25, 2009.