The banning of Michael Jackson picks up speed

Now that the world has had a look at the Leaving Neverland documentary, Michael Jackson and his music are under increasing scrutiny. Some organizations feel that they can no longer be associated with the man.

  1. Cogeco-owned radio stations in Quebec have taken a stand, saying that they will no longer play Jackson’s music.
  2. Norwegian national radio has announced a Michael Jackson boycott.
  3. RNZ, the government-owned network in New Zealand has “applied editorial judgment,” and pulled MJ’s music.
  4. Mediaworks, a private New Zealand group, has done the same.
  5. Smooth FM, an Australian radio network has pulled all of Jackson’s songs.
  6. Spotify and Apple Music? No changes.
  7. The National Football Museum in Manchester, England, has removed a Michael Jackson statue. The story is that this has nothing to do with Leaving Neverland but because it made no sense having it there in the first place.
  8. Meanwhile, there’s a US$250 million deal between the Jackson estate and Sony Music. Could it be in trouble?

But not everyone is on board. Mark Kingswell wrote an op-ed in The Globe and Mail arguing against a boycott of anything to do with Michael Jackson. Here’s an excerpt.

“For many decades, we have been confronted by artists whose views and actions seem to undermine their best achievements, and there are even websites devoted to rating their misdeeds, because of course there are. There is a rogues’ gallery of racists and anti-Semites in the Western arts and culture canon: Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, Patricia Highsmith, T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, H.P. Lovecraft, Dr. Seuss (!). There are misogynists and alleged wife-murderers: William S. Burroughs, Norman Mailer, Louis Althusser. There are actual charged murderers: Caravaggio and Phil Spector, for example. And there are, of course, many very bad husbands and wives: Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso, Woolf again, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald (a drunk as well) and so on. And there is the going concern of Woody Allen, who continues to work despite the allegations of sexual abuse against him.”

Stevie Wonder, a friend and frequent collaborator, just wants everyone to leave it alone.

And then there are all the women who surrounded Jackson when he was alive. They have some things to say.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “The banning of Michael Jackson picks up speed

  • March 7, 2019 at 12:26 pm
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    Such utter cowardly bullshit.

    After decades of allegations, including several court settlements, how did a Sunday HBO special suddenly become the line too far?? These same stations were only too happy to play his music and enrich his estate for decades but now HBO has made his music off limits? What did we know Monday that we didn’t know a week before? A month before??

    Reply

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