There’s been no end to public outcry ever since HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January. The painful two-part HBO documentary, which details the alleged sexual abuse that two men endured from Jackson, has resulted in a variety of responses. Many have condemned Jackson’s actions and taken steps to disassociate with the King of Pop but still others are choosing to not believe the singer’s accusers and denouncing the film.
The details unearthed in “Leaving Neverland” have resulted in a permanent tainting of the powerful singer’s legacy — radio stations have begun pulling Jackson’s music from their sets and the one-time earning power of the Jackson estate is now in question.
Here’s some of the fallout that’s resulted so far from the widely talked about film:
Russian Television Cancels “Leaving Neverland” Showing
Russia’s Channel One was set to air the two-part documentary on March 15 and 16, but due to controversy, the state-owned TV network decided to show “Leaving Neverland” only on its website rather than broadcasting it.
Louis Vuitton Drops Michael Jackson Clothing
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Vuitton fashion label is dropping items influenced by Jackson, such as a TV shirt with a drawing of his jeweled dancing shoes, from its fall and winter 2019 men’s collection.
Posters Protesting Jackson’s Influence Removed
Posters proclaiming Michael Jackson‘s innocence in the wake of the “Leaving Neverland“ documentary will be removed from the sides of London buses, following a decision by the city’s transport agency. The decision comes after a charity for sexual abuse survivors had criticized Transport for London for allowing posters that could discourage abuse victims from coming forward for fear of being disbelieved.
Michael Jackson’s music sees sales and streaming declines
In the shadow of the “Neverland” premiere, Jackson’s music — including his work with the Jackson 5 and The Jacksons — has dipped noticeably in popularity. From March 3-5 (the documentary premiered on March 3), the singer’s album sales fell by 39 percent and his combined song and album sales faced a drop of 8,000, according to Billboard.
“The Simpsons” removes episode
The 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad” featured a voice from Jackson that was initially uncredited, but confirmed by him several years later. “Simpsons” producers pulled the episode from rotation this week. Jackson voiced Leon Kompowsky, a large white man who claimed to be the singer, who met Homer in a mental institution.
Even Corey Feldman has changed his mind
One of Jackson’s longtime defenders, former child star Corey Feldman, said that after watching the film, “I can no longer defend him.”
Radio stations are pulling Michael Jackson’s music
Radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have announced they will stop playing Michael Jackson’s music in an assumed to be in response to “Leaving Neverland.” Leon Wratt, the group content director for MediaWorks’, a radio station in New Zealand, said in an interview that “…with something as controversial as what this ‘Leaving Neverland’ was going to be, we’re certainly going to err on the side of caution here.” Other dj’s are also making statements about dropping his music from their rotation.
London buses run MJ Innocent ads
An organization of Michael Jackson defenders ran two separate ads on the sides of buses in London. One ad has a picture of Jackson with the word “innocent” superimposed over his mouth and includes the text, “Facts Don’t Lie. People Do.” The other has a picture of the top half of the pop star’s face with the text, “#MJINNOCENT.”
Estate releases concert film on YouTube
Twenty minutes after the first part of “Leaving Neverland” premiered on HBO, Jackson’s estate released a concert video on YouTube that was the same exact length as the documentary. “Live in Bucharest (The Dangerous Tour)” appears as an attempt to distract and confuse potential viewers from the scathing HBO documentary.
A Michael Jackson musical canceled its test run
Jukebox musical “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” canceled its Chicago trial run, saying it wasn’t because of the documentary but due to scheduling issues.
The Jackson estate sued HBO to block the airing of the doc
Citing a 1992 non-disparagement agreement, the Jackson estate threatened HBO with a lawsuit if they aired “Leaving Neverland,” but HBO quickly countered it had no plans to back down.
‘Leaving Neverland’ Imdb Page Hacked
The film’s Imdb page was hacked for several hours with details supporting the singer’s innocence. The hack appeared to be tied to an organized campaign to discredit the film.
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