According to new reports, some radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have dropped Michael Jackson from their playlists.
This move is coming in the wake of new allegations of sexual abuse by the late pop star in the documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
It would be recalled that the two-part film, which began airing on HBO on Sunday had Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse the singer of sexually abusing them over a period of several years when they were children.
In reaction to the documentary, Jackson’s estate has pushed back calling the film a “public lynching,” and has since slammed a lawsuit against HBO.
Mixed reactions have been trailing the documentary with fans torn as to what story to believe. While some fans are on the late entertainer’s side, some others have expressed discomfort in listening to his music. It is in the wake of these that multiple major radio stations have pulled Jackson’s music from their airwaves in New Zealand,
According to the commercial broadcaster, MediaWorks, their decision to yank Jackson’s songs from its playlist is to reflect their audience’s preference. Leon Wratt, the company’s director for radio, said in a statement,
“Michael Jackson isn’t currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations’ playlists. 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.”
Rival broadcaster NZME also will not be playing the late pop star’s music.
“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, which is owned by NZME.
A spokesman for Radio NZ, a publicly-funded broadcaster, said it would only play Jackson if it was “part of a news story or to provide colour around a commentary piece.”
In Canada, three major Montreal-based radio stations have also stopped playing Jackson’s music, according to Canadian news outlet CBC. Other stations in Canada are reported to be monitoring the situation.