Radio stations in Australia, Canada and New Zealand are refusing to play Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of fresh allegations against him of child sex abuse.
Sydney’s Nova Entertainment on Thursday became the latest radio group to announce they are taking the late “King of Pop” off the air in response to public opinion. The move came after the broadcast of a United States documentary “Leaving Neverland” that featured two men who claimed Jackson sexually abused them for years.
The two men, James Safechuck and Australian-born Wade Robson, said Jackson sexually abused them when they were aged 10 and seven. There had been persistent rumours of throughout Jackson’s life, but no allegations were ever substantiated.
“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.
The documentary has not yet been broadcast in Australia. A second major Australian radio network, ARN, said it was “closely monitoring audience sentiment in relation to individual artists”.
In New Zealand, the star’s songs are now almost totally absent from the airwaves, after being pulled by the country’s two biggest radio networks, MediaWorks and NZME. The two companies between them dominate commercial radio.