Courtesy of HBOHe’s been gone for nearly 10 years, but Michael Jackson may just end up being the new face of “cancel culture.”
Following the airing of HBO’s explosive Leaving Neverland documentary, three radio stations in Montreal, Quebec have decided to pull Jackson’s music from their playlists. A spokeswoman for the station’s parent company, Cogeco Media, said the decision was made based on audience feedback.
As reported by the Montreal Gazette, the Cogeco’ Media exec Christine Dicaire said in a written statement to The Canadian Press, “We are attentive to listeners’ comments, and [the] documentary created reactions.
Wednesday, a radio network in New Zealand followed suit when two of its biggest stations announced that they will no longer support the King of Pop.
According to the New York Times, Leon Wratt, the content director of New Zealand’s MediaWorks, explained that this decision is not an indictment, but rather something to accommodate its listeners.
“We aren’t deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of pedophilia or not,” Wratt told the publication. “We’re just merely trying to make sure that our radio stations are going to play the music that people want to hear.”
As previously reported, the Leaving Neverland documentary drew in 1.29 million viewers for its first installment on Sunday night, the third-largest audience for an HBO documentary this decade.
Meanwhile, a Hollywood-based deejay tells Variety that she’ll no longer play Michael’s music at parties and events.
Jackson’s family and his estate have denied the allegations in the film, and have filed a lawsuit against HBO, claiming that film violates a non-disparagement clause from a 1992 contract HBO signed in order to air a Jackson concert.
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