Michael Jackson songs dropped from radio stations in New Zealand, Canada after controversial film

File photo of Michael Jackson. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 06, 2019, 04.26 PM (IST)

Michael Jackson’s fans will not have it easy after this news reaches them that the late iconic singer’s songs are being dropped by several radio stations in the countries of New Zealand and Canada. This comes after a documentary titled ‘Leaving Neverland’ that is airing on HBO alleges that two men were harassed by the star as children. 

The documentary goes on to have Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse the singer of sexually abusing them over a period of several years when they were children. 

Before it was aired, Jackson’s estate slammed the film calling it “public lynching” and sued HBO for $100 million which shares a parent company with CNN, Warner Media.

Now that the docu-film has aired, many fans of Jackson’s songs have sided with the singer while some have expressed feeling uncomfortable listening to his songs. In a response to this, in New Zealand, multiple major radio stations have pulled his music from their airwaves. 

Leon Wratt, MediaWorks Radio stations director as reported by CNN said: "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.

Story highlights

The documentary has two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, accuse Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them over a period of several years when they were children.