March 7, 2019
Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns
And just like that, Michael Jackson‘s music is being pulled off the radio. After the “Leaving Neverland” documentary aired on HBO, and Oprah hosted the heavily talked about after show special with the film’s subjects, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the musician is slowing becoming silenced.
— HBO Documentaries (@HBODocs) March 4, 2019
Certain stations in Canada and New Zealand have already taken the lead in removing his songs from their playlists. “We aren’t deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of pedophilia or not,” said Leon Wratt, the content director of New Zealand’s MediaWorks. “We’re just merely trying to make sure that our radio stations are going to play the music that people want to hear.”
A spokesperson for Cogeco Media, owner of three Canadian entities said: “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.”
It was previously reported that large broadcaster BBC2 Radio had banned the King of Pop, but according to a rep that’s not quite the case: “The BBC does not 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,” also adding that the media company’s playlists tend to focus on new artists.
A docu-series? Singer? Child abuse allegations? Another name that might ring a bell is R. Kelly, and the headlines he’s been in over the past few months, especially after his sexual abuse victims have come forward to tell their sides of the story. With Robson and Safechuck speaking out about what they experienced as children, could Jackson be the next musician to be muted, just like the 52-year-old producer? The Internet has already started to use #MuteMichaelJackson to share their thoughts and even compare the two:
— Maggie V (@mag_dala3) March 5, 2019
Funny how all these things come out about R. Kelly years later and everybody is for it but these men coming out about Michael Jackson are being bashed and called liars. Victim shaming is disgusting. #MuteMichaelJackson
— Leeah (@D1amond_Eyes) March 5, 2019
Is it time to #MuteMichaelJackson?#LeavingNeverland is on TV Wed/Thurs with disturbing graphic allegations of child sexual abuse against the King of Pop.#Thriller was the soundtrack of a generation – will it ever sound the same?#TalkingPoint @skynews @pezjax @thedivinehammer pic.twitter.com/NqEZNvaQE7
— Sarah-Jane Mee (@skysarahjane) March 5, 2019
TELL US: Do you think Michael Jackson’s music should be muted? Why or why not?