Radio Stations Drop Michael Jackson's Music After 'Leaving Neverland' Documentary

A number of radio stations worldwide have dropped Michael Jackson's music in the wake of a new documentary publishing sexual assault allegations against the singer.

Two-part documentary Leaving Neverland has already aired in the US on HBO, and is set to air on Channel 4 at 9pm today and tomorrow.

The two hour-long episodes hear from Wade Robson and James Safechuck - now grown men - who claim that Jackson abused them as children.

Credit: Channel 4/HBO
Credit: Channel 4/HBO

While the Jackson estate has reacted with threats of legal action against the documentary and called it a "public lynching", the response from viewers has led a number of radio stations in New Zealand, Canada and other countries to make the decision to pull MJ's music.

"Michael Jackson isn't currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations' playlists," company director for radio Leon Wratt said in a statement.

He added: "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."

Radio NZ said that it would only play Jackson's music if it was "part of a news story or to provide colour around a commentary piece".

And NZME director Dean Buchanan said: "Playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them."

Four radio stations in Canada - three in Montreal and one in Quebec - are not playing Jackson's songs.

Amsterdam-based NHRadio and Norway's NRK have also followed suit.

However, the BBC has denied that it has pulled his music after it was reported by Variety it had been "quietly dropped" from one station.

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Wade Robson says Jackson began abusing him aged seven, and Safechuck says he was aged 10 when the alleged abuse started.

Directed and produced by Emmy Award-nominated British filmmaker Dan Reed, the Leaving Neverland synopsis reads: "Leaving Neverland is a two-part documentary exploring the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson.

"Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of his own."

Leaving Neverland airs on Channel 4 tonight and tomorrow at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: HBO/Channel 4

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - rachel.andrews@pretty52.com

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