SALT LAKE CITY — Radio stations across the world have pulled Michael Jackson’s music in response to “Leaving Neverland,” the controversial HBO documentary on the pop star, according to CNN.
Jackson, who died in 2009, faces new accusations of abuse in “Leaving Neverland,” a two-part film that began airing on HBO last Sunday. Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused the pop star of sexually abusing them over several years when they were younger. Jackson’s estate has pushed back against the film and is suing HBO.
Fans have defended the pop star, while others have supported the accusers and have spoken out against listening to his music.
Multiple radio stations in New Zealand have dropped Jackson’s music from their stations. That includes the commercial radio broadcaster MediaWorks, CNN reports.
- "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."
RNZ, a state-owned station, said it will use “editorial judgment” to any music played and Jackson’s music is not included, The Guardian reports.
NZME, a rival broadcaster to MediaWorks, said it will also stop playing Jackson’s music in light of the allegations.9 comments on this story
- "NZME station playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them," NZME entertainment director Dean Buchanan told the New Zealand Herald.
Three major radio stations in the Montreal area have stopped playing his music, too, according to AV Club. Those stations include CKOI, Rhyme and The Beat.
BBC2 in England has reportedly banned Jackson’s music, too, according to Variety.
Cumulus Media in the U.S. said it would not ban specific artists. However, the company, which owns more than 400 stations in the U.S., said it will respect decisions of individual stations.