AceShowbiz - Fans of late Michael Jackson around the world won't be able to hear the King of Pop's music on the radio for some time. In the wake of "Leaving Neverland" which details child-molestation accusation against the late singer, several radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have decided to remove his songs from rotation.
MediaWorks, which owned nine major commercial radio stations in New Zealand, said of the decision in an interview with Magic Talk. "We aren't deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of pedophilia," Leon Wratt said. "We're just making sure our radio stations are going to play the music people want to hear." Meanwhile, NMZE said in a statement, "Playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them."
In Canada, there are three major radio stations that decided to ban Michael's music. The owner of the Montreal French-language stations CKOI and Rythme and the English-language The Beat said his music was pulled on Monday morning, March 4. Meanwhile, spokeswoman for media company Cogeco stated that the ban would be applied to 23 smaller radio stations. It's stated that the move was a response to the documentary.
Michael's estate has yet to comment on the ban.
"Leaving Neverland" premiered on HBO on Sunday, March 3. In the four-hour documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused Michael of graphic and extensive sexual abuse. The latter additionally recalled the mock wedding that the pair had, complete with a wedding ring which he still owns. He alleged that Michael would reward him with jewelry for engaging in sexual acts.
Michael's estate has criticized the documentary as "an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson," but director Dan Reed has hit back. "The statement contains nothing that is of concern and no substantial criticism of the film," he said. "They obviously haven't seen it, and I'm not engaging with the substance of what they're saying."