News has surfaced this week about broadcasting stations in New Zealand and Canada announcing that they have decided not to play Michael Jackson’s songs on air for an indefinite period of time.
Among these media networks are the NZME and MediaWorks in New Zealand and some of Canada’s major radio stations.
These firms pointed out that the drastic measure they took was partly because of their audiences’ musical preferences.
In addition, they also referred to the reported adverse reactions of their listeners apropos to the latest pedophilia allegations against the “Thriller” singer as featured in “Leaving Neverland.”
The two-part documentary which was directed by Dan Reed featured two men – James Safechuck and Wade Robson – accusing Jackson of sexually abusing them when they were children.
In spite of these accusations against Jackson being a pedophile, some radio stations around the world still chose to remain unaffected following the US broadcasting of the disputed exposé last weekend.
In the United Kingdom, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) cited that it does not prohibit artists on its airwaves despite the reported unfavorable feedbacks of its listeners against the disgraced late singer.
The company said that it considers every song based on its “merits and decisions.”
In addition, the BBC explained that the music they play on various networks is always made by considering relevant contexts and audiences.
Aside from the BBC, Cumulus Media in the United States also reacted against the censorship which some of the radio stations around the globe resorted to as a response against the artist who was once hailed as the “King of Pop.”
A spokesman for one of the country’s largest radio networks mentioned in a statement that the decision to ban playing Jackson’s songs already depends on each of its over 400 radio stations.
In Canada, media conglomerate Corus Radio pointed out in statement on Sunday that, although it is monitoring the latest developments pertaining to the controversy, it is presently not in its agenda to pull out Jackson’s songs from its playlists.
Howard Weitzman, who represents the estate of Jackson, argued that“Leaving Neverland,”which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival early this year, is just a money-making ploy.
Weitzman lambasted the four-hour film further by describing it is a disgrace.
Jackson’s estate is seeking damages worth $100 million from HBO which aired the contentious presentation and the makers of the documentary.
The legal counsel of Jackson has contended that the civil lawsuit filed by Safechuck and Robson were already dismissed by a judge in 2017 after ruling that his client’s estate could not be held culpable for the late pop star’s behavior.
In addition, Jackson’s lawyer has maintained that that the “Will You Be There?” singer is innocent in the 2005 criminal case which rose before his 2009 death as what is being highlighted by derogatory movie.