RTÉ won't ban music by Jackson over claims he sexually abused boys

Tanya Cunningham
March 9, 2019

Australian, Canadian and New Zealand radio stations have made a decision to stop playing Michael Jackson's music as new allegations of sexual abuse have been claimed against the late king of pop.

HBO's controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland has proved to be a solid ratings draw for the premium cable network.

In New Zealand, multiple major radio stations have pulled Jackson's music from their airwaves, including commercial broadcaster MediaWorks.

"Michael Jackson isn't now on any MediaWorks Radio stations' playlists", MediaWorks director for radio Leon Wratt wrote in a statement. "At this stage, ARN stations with music formats that play Michael Jackson won't be removing his music", an ARN spokesperson said. It comes as a slew of abuse claims have emerged from the "Leaving Neverland" documentary that aired on USA network HBO just days ago. "They're entitled as citizens to use the courts to hold the Jackson estate - and their contention is that all these people who worked with Jackson looked the other way while they were being raped". Christine Dicaire, a spokeswoman for Montreal media company Cogeco, told The Guardian that the ban also applies to 23 smaller stations in the province.

Leaving Neverland details the abuse allegations of two men, who'd previously told authorities that Jackson hadn't molested them.

Along with allegations of child molestation, Jackson faced controversy over his romantic relationships, his use of plastic surgery and erratic behavior-such as dangling a baby outside a Berlin hotel window.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the BBC2 denied that Jackson's music has been dropped off the Radio 2 playlist.

Another interesting element to the story is Sony's $250 million seven-year deal to distribute the late star's recordings.

The second part of the Channel 4 programme will air tonight.

Motown Records was the first major label to record The Jackson 5, in which Michael debuted as a young star alongside his siblings, and released their hits I Want You Back and ABC.

Jackson died in 2009 following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Michael Jackson stood trial in 2005 for sexual abuse and was found not guilty of all charges.

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