Michael Jackson’s music surges in charts after child sex abuse claims in Leaving Neverland doc – despite radio ban

Michael Jackson’s music surges in charts after child sex abuse claims in Leaving Neverland doc – despite radio ban

MICHAEL Jackson’s music has surged in the charts after he was accused of grooming and molesting little boys in the troubling Leaving Neverland docu

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MICHAEL Jackson’s music has surged in the charts after he was accused of grooming and molesting little boys in the troubling Leaving Neverland documentary.

The King of Pop’s online plays have been boosted despite dozens of radio stations from around the world banning his songs amid the child sex abuse claims.

Michael Jackson's songs have been pulled from radio after child sex abuse claims
Michael Jackson’s music has surged in the charts after he was accused of grooming and molesting little boys in the troubling Leaving Neverland documentary
Reuters
Wade Robson, from left, director Dan Reed and James Safechuck pose for a portrait to promote the film 'Leaving Neverland'
Wade Robson, left, and James Safechuck, right, made sex abuse allegations against Jackson in the chilling Channel 4 documentary Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed, centre
AP:Associated Press

Jackson has been accused of attempting to rape a 14-year-old boy after abusing him over a seven-year period and staging a fake wedding ceremony another schoolboy.

But the sickening claims have not stopped his music from climbing the iTunes charts since Leaving Neverland was broadcast.

The Evening Standard reported that Jackson’s Number Ones album climbed 44 places in a matter of hours to reach number 43.

His greatest hits compilation, The Essential Michael Jackson, reached number 79.

The pop star’s singles were given a push too, with ‘Bad’ climbing to Number 147 and ‘Thriller’ below it at Number 172.

Jackson’s combined album and song sales – including his work with the Jackson 5 and The Jackson’s – dipped four per cent following the Neverland premiere.

His combined sales on March 3 to 5 totalled nearly 8,000, down from the just over 8,000 on the previous Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

But for on-demand audio and video streams, Jackson’s tunes saw an increase of six per cent, rising to 19.7 million on March 3 to 5, up from 18.7 million.

The online chart surge comes as broadcasters are moving to act amid pressure from listeners who have watched the documentary that has torn apart the pop icon’s already questionable legacy.

In New Zealand, two radio stations that broadcast to over half of the population have now removed his music.

State-owned RNZ said their decision is “a reflection of our audiences and their preferences”.

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

Sydney’s Nova Entertainment in Australia today became the latest radio group to announce they are taking the late ‘King of Pop’ off the air.

“In light of what is happening at the moment, SmoothFM is not currently playing any Michael Jackson songs,” local media quoted Nova’s programme director Paul Jackson as saying.

In Perth, a Christian radio station also confirmed it had stopped playing the star’s music.

The 98five SunshineFM chief executive, Bevan Jones, said they “don’t play much Michael Jackson” but had cut the singer from its playlist in response to feedback from listeners.

Another Australian radio network, ARN, said it was ‘closely monitoring audience sentiment in relation to individual artists’.

Canadian radio stations have also followed suit.

Playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them


Dean Buchanan, director of NZME

Media company Cogeco stripped his songs from the playlists of all 23 of its Quebec stations, including its three major Montreal broadcasters CKOI, Rythme and The Beat.

Amsterdam-based Dutch radio station NHRadio and Norway’s NRK have also dropped his music.

The BBC was reported by the Times to have quietly dropped his tunes from its Radio 2 playlists, though a spokesperson denied there was an outright “ban” on his music.

It comes after the release of the controversial two-part film, made by British filmmaker Dan Reed, that contains interviews with two former childhood fans of the Thriller singer who claim they were abused by him when they were children in his enormous mansion dubbed Neverland.

The documentary details fresh abuse claims from Wade Robson, a choreographer who says Jackson began abusing him when he was seven, and James Safechuck, a former child actor who says the singer began molesting him when he was 10.

It was branded a “horror film” after the four-hour film’s debut revealed gruesome accounts from two of Jackson’s alleged victims who are now in their 30s.

Leaving Neverland left audience members shocked with graphic abuse claims including how the singer allegedly gave a young boy jewellery in exchange for sex acts.

Amy Kaufman, LA Times Hollywood writer, said: “Incredibly emotional reaction from the audience after #LeavingNeverland.

“One audience member says he was molested as a child and that Robson and Safechuck “are going to do a lot more f***ing good in the world than Michael f***ing Jackson.”


Jackson, who died in 2009 of a drug overdose, strongly denied all allegations of sexual abuse made against him.

His estate has vehemently denounced the documentary.

After viewing the film at the Sundance Festival, the estate called the documentary “tabloid character assassination”.

RADIO STATIONS BANNING JACKO

Canada:

23 stations in Quebec, including three major Montreal stations CKOI, Rythme, The Beat

New Zealand:

MediaWorks and NZME

UK:

The BBC denies outright “ban”, but he’s reported to have been quietly dropped from Radio 2

The Netherlands:

NH Radio

Australia:

Nova Entertainment (SmoothFM)

SunshineFM

Norway:

NRK

UNKNOWN

Jackson with James Safechuck who claims he was abused by the singer at Neverland[/caption]

Jackson and Safechuck would be almost inseparable — here they are in London's Guildhall circa 1988
Jackson and Safechuck were almost inseparable — here pictured in London’s Guildhall circa 1988
Rex Features
Leaving Neverland has been slammed by Michael Jackson’s outraged family
Rex Features

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