The fallout from the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland begins

If you’ve seen both parts of HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, I’m going to guess who have some strong feelings about what was revealed. And it all comes down to this: What do we do with Michael Jackson now?

With so much evidence having accumulated over the last quarter-century, how can we in the era of #MeToo and heightened awareness of abuse of all sorts, continue to support Jackson and his music?

This is something radio programmers the world over are facing this week. (I outline things here.)

Three Montreal radio stations have already decided. CKOI, Rhyme, and The Beat have all pulled Jackson’s music from their libraries. The decision also applies to 23 small market stations also owned by Cogeco. Will others follow?

The Jackson estate is of course trying to mitigate the damage from Leaving Neverland, calling the whole documentary a lie and launching a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. And no wonder. The doc has not only further sullied Jackson’s cultural legacy but it also jeopardizes the US$2 billion Michael Jackson industry.

Meanwhile, die-hard fans–let’s call them Michael Jackson Truthers–continue to stand up for the singer, saying things like “Just let the man rest.” And this being America, race is always a factor in issues like this. But even that faction has been blown up by the fact that Oprah has bailed on Jackson. And when you lose Oprah, you lose a big chunk of humanity.

Did I believe what was shown in the documentary? Absolutely. Despite never being convicted for child molestation (and Leaving Neverland shows why) Jackson was a serial pedophile who carefully groomed his victims started from age 7.

Neither of the two abuse survivors in the doc has anything to gain. Wade Robson’s career as choreography to the stars could be completely shut down. James Safechuck can only expose himself to hate from Truthers.

I’m just glad I’m not any of the parents.

BONUS: Was that Wade Robson burning Michael Jackson’s jacket over the end credits?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.