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Home / News Archive / News April 2019

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Michael and Lucy Lester
Michael and Lucy Lester

Michael Jackson’s Goddaughter Breaks Her Life Long Silence. 11-04-'19

Michael Jackson’s British goddaughter has broken her life-long silence to reveal she believes he is innocent of the sexual abuse allegations.

Lucy Lester, 27, is an ordinary, single mum who lives in a modest-semi and works with vulnerable young people.

Lucy, of Stroud, Glos, is the goddaughter of Jackson who once tried to teach her to moonwalk and was helping to plan her 18th birthday celebrations when he died.

During her teenage years she and her siblings were so close to Jackson’s children they regarded each other as cousins and they even spent one Christmas together.

Lucy’s father is former child star Mark Lester who starred in the 1968 film 'Oliver!' and is a familiar figure on TV and newspapers defending his late friend.

In recent months the actor, who retired from showbiz to work as an osteopath in Cheltenham, has appeared on TV to loyally defend the star.

Now Lucy has agreed to speak out for the first time since Jackson’s death 10 years ago this June to talk about the man she knew.

And she says the “wacko Jacko” image is nothing like the Michael Jackson known by her, her sisters Harriet, 25, and Olivia, 23, and their 19-year-old brother Felix.

She also says she believes he is innocent.

Lucy said: “One hundred percent I never saw anything to suggest anything like that.

Read the whole article here.

Source: The London Economic / Billie Jean


2 Michael Jackson Albums In The Top Selling Of All Time On The Official UK Chart. 11-04-'19

Created in 1956, the Official Charts have recorded all the sales in the UK ever since and the results for this year are in!

And no surprise here with Michael Jackson making the cut, not once but twice with 'Thriller' at the 6th place and 'Bad' at the 9th place.

While 'Thriller' is still the biggest selling album of all time worldwide, this is the results for the UK alone.

With Queen's 'Greatest Hits' album being at the top position (especially with the new biopic movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody' released few months ago and which boosted the music sales for the group).

Official Albums ChartThe UK Albums Chart is a hit list of albums in the UK. It is compiled weekly by The Official Charts Company.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Gary’s Jackson 5 Mural To Be Demolished In Spring. 10-04-'19

After the mural was restored to its glory coloring back in February 2017, it is said that the Jackson 5 painting based in Gary, Indiana will be demolished in the spring due to construction planning.

While this has nothing to do with 'Leaving Neverland' and the construction planning has been set, it will be a shame to see this beautiful artwork go!

The Jackson 5 MuralThe Jackson 5 mural on Lake Street in Gary’s Miller neighborhood has prompted countless people to stop and whip out their phones to take pictures.

If you are in Gary before then, make sure to visit the site!

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Hollywood Walk of Fame StarMichael Jackson Hollywood Star Damaged. 10-04-'18

The Hollywood star of Michael Jackson in West Hollywood, CA seems to have been damaged.

The Walk of Fame is visited by millions every year and stars do get damaged by tourists, delivery trolleys, road works, Earthquakes and so on.

It is unclear if the Michael Jackson’s star has been vandalized or just damaged and the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been contacted to report the damages; to open an investigation and to start the repair process.

Please note that there is no evidence that the damages are related to the so called documentary 'Leaving Neverland'. Stars do get damaged with time.

Source: Keen Zhang / Billie Jean


Leaving NeverlandHBO Pulls The Plug On 'Leaving Neverland'. 09-04-'19

Last month Michael Jackson accuser James Safechuck was caught in a huge lie in the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary on HBO after claiming he was abused by Jackson daily inside the train station at Neverland Ranch despite the station not being built at the time he claims he was abused.

HBO quietly cuts short 'Leaving Neverland's run...

'Leaving Neverland' was supposed to air on HBO until September but now the doc is ending this month.

The Estate of Michael Jackson is currently suing HBO and Michael's nephews are raising money to film a counter documentary.

Fun Fact: Oprah Winfrey also distanced herself from the documentary deleting interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck from her YouTube channel.

Source: Rhymes with Snitch / Billie Jean


The Piece Of Michael Jackson Graffiti Art That Is Dividing Scousers. 08-04-'19

Scousers are divided over a Michael Jackson mural in the city in the wake of allegations made against the late singer.

The 'Smooth Criminal' artwork appeared on the corner of Colquitt Street and Seel Street in 2018 and was inspired by Jackson's famous moonwalk.

On social media some people questioned whether the Paul Curtis art work should still be on display after allegations of sexual abuse were made against the King of Pop in the recent controversial documentary 'Leaving Neverland'.

We asked ECHO readers what they thought should happen to the mural now in what proved to be a divisive issue.

People who supported removing the artwork supported the alleged victims and urged people to think about how they might feel in that position.

Others agreed, but added that they felt for the artist Paul Curtis because he created the piece months before the allegations surfaced.

Michael Jackson MuralMichael Jackson mural by artist Paul Curtis on Colquitt Street, Liverpool.

One said:"I feel bad for the artist as it's a great piece of work but in fairness if I were one of his victims I'd want it removed as it would be difficult to see him glorified after what he did.

Another wrote: "Sorry for Paul, but yes, I think Jackson is a criminal and can't be honoured by a graffiti, not anymore, not since we know..."

Others made comparisons to Jimmy Saville - stating he also had allegations against him but was never convicted.

One person said: "Obviously take it down? Would we keep up a mural of Saville?"

Those in favour of keeping the mural argued Michael Jackson has never been convicted of a crime.

One said: Why would you remove a painting of an innocent man? So bored of these band wagons that people jump on when they want a bit of money.

Another wrote: "Leave it be. He was never convicted of anything and always denied the allegations against him."

Others suggested the art should be considered separate to the allegations because it is simply a great mural.

One person said: "It shouldn't be removed. period."

Another said:"Why would you get rid? It’s a great piece of art."

Someone else said: "Why?!! Its beautiful!!"

Artist Paul Curtis, who designed the mural said: "I haven't seen any online discussion regarding this mural, like many people, I avoid online arguments and discussions.

"I haven't seen the documentary either but I am aware of some of the content.

"It is an ongoing legal case so I won't publicly express my opinion for obvious reasons. I also feel that given the gravitas of the case, my opinion is not of importance. Regarding the mural, if the owners of the building want it removed, it can be done, I have absolutely no problem with that."

The late singer's estate has since confirmed plans to sue the documentary makers, and his family condemned the film in a scathing statement, comparing it to a "public lynching".

Source: Liverpool Echo / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson At McDonald's Worldwide Indignation About Taking Away! 08-04-19

Billboard TruckLast Tuesday morning (April 2) the iconic image of pop star Michael Jackson was removed early in the morning at the McDonald’s branch in Best. This put Best on the world map in one fell swoop. The McDonald’s campaign has led to thousands of angry reactions from Michael Jackson fans, not just in the Netherlands but all over the world.

The statue has been there for 23 years. It is striking that during the 2005 trial - in which Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse but was completely acquitted on all 14 points! - the image has simply remained. McDonald's indicates that the reason to remove the image now is that they fear that the film Leaving Neverland may also cause Michael Jackson to feel unpleasant feelings with customers. However, this film is incredibly one-sided, based solely on statements by two men, and cannot be legally substantiated. The time to remove the image is extra strange, because in recent weeks more and more untruths and contradictions of 'Leaving Neverland' have come to light. This even led to Dan Reed, the director, having to admit last week that there are indeed errors. So why are fans now wondering how to remove the image?

The fans would have preferred McDonald’s to talk to them together to find a solution to eliminate any inconveniences to customers. For example, by facilitating McDonald's with the facts and (unt) truths of 'Leaving Neverland' that have been found so that they could be distributed at the Best location. Unfortunately, McDonald's has chosen to silently remove the image.

The statue was visited annually by thousands of people who came to Best for this purpose, including from Germany, Belgium and France. The statue was also frequently visited by foreign tourists. The team of MJ INNOCENT NL * received many indignant responses from all over the world, including from the United States, Great Britain, France and even China!

The fans are already talking about a worldwide boycott of McDonald’s. Thanks to social media, this message is spreading at lightning speed. In the Netherlands, fans will - in addition to a boycott - reinforce their outrage by a Michael Jackson billboard car on Monday 8 April between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. driving in Amsterdam. The mobile billboard then also visits Paradiso on the route, which recently canceled a tribute show around Michael Jackson.

* This promotion is organized by MJ Innocent team NL, an own initiative that does not act in the name of but where reference is made to mjinnocent.com. The MJInnocent project is a worldwide network of people who are convinced that Michael Jackson is innocent. They focus on finding the truth and are explicitly based on facts. The public can read about these facts on the website www.mjinnocent.com, on which the information is offered in several languages, including Dutch.

On Monday 8 April, a billboard truck stopped at McDonald's Netherlands headquarters in Amsterdam as a way for Dutch Michael Jackson fans to show the outage for the fast food brand removing the Michael Jackson statue at its restaurant in Best last week. The truck also stopped at a pop venue Paradiso that canceled a Michael Jackson tribute show.

Source: Jackson Source / Billie Jean


The Estate’s Brief To The Robson’s Appeal. 07-04-'19

The Estate has just published a 80 pages long brief to the court in response to Robson appeal to his court case.

As it is just a brief, the Estate showcases all the precedents and facts to why the court should stick to the decision to dismiss the case.

Check out the 80 pages brief here.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Wanted 'Thousands' Of Own Kids. 06-04-'19

Michael Jackson wanted ''thousands'' of his own kids and planned to be cloned and cryogenically frozen when he died.

The late King of Pop's former chauffeur, Al Bowman, has claimed that he took the singer and his personal doctors to a three-day convention hosted by the Raelian movement - which believes the key to eternal life is cloning - to discuss being ''reanimated'' after his death to have more ''little Michael Jackson's running around'' in the future.

Al told The Sun Online: ''He [Jackson] bounced out of that conference - I heard him telling everyone in the back of the limo how he wanted to be cloned and frozen after his death.

''He didn't care how much it cost - he wanted to be reanimated, to live forever. I remember he was so excited that there could be thousands little Michael Jackson's running around - he was smiling and laughing.

''He wanted them to take his cells and clone him - he was really in to this stuff, you could hear the excitement in his voice.''

Al, 60, claimed that Michael's pal and illusionist, Uri Geller, also went along to the Raelien cloning event to talk about the ''freezing of cells''.

He added: ''I had driven Michael Jackson several times over the years but this time I actually got the job through a friend who told me that Jackson was planning to go to this Raelian cloning event and he didn't want to fly because it was a large group.

''So I picked them up in this 12 seater Hummer that I was actually looking after for a friend and it wasn't the normal sort of Michael Jackson crowd - this wasn't dancers and publicists - it was scientists and doctors.

''I remember that his friend Uri Geller was there too. Their conversations on the way there were all about cryonics, cloning, freezing of cells - all this scientific stuff.''

The 'Bad' hitmaker's driver also explained that the convention was ''mind-blowing'' and thinks there is a good possibility that Michael is actually frozen at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation ''cryonics facility'' in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Al continued: ''There are people who think he is one of the people in Scottsdale in the below-zero nitrogen metal tubes they have in the cryonics facility there.

''Having heard how excited he was about this whole thing I think there's a good possibility he is cryogenically frozen. He believed in reanimation, he was a reanimator.''

Source: MSN / Billie Jean


Watch Michael Jackson’s Family Defend Him Against ‘Leaving Neverland’ Abuse Claims In New Documentary. 05-04-'19

It features appearances from Taj and Brandi Jackson.

A new documentary has explored the other side of allegations made in HBO’s 'Leaving Neverland', after Michael Jackson was accused of extensive sexual abuse.

The YouTube film is presented by Australian journalist Liam McEwan, who interviews figures such as Michael’s nephew Taj – who directly addresses the allegations of abuse made by both Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

When asked about Jackson’s relationship with children, Taj is heard defending his uncle by claiming that he relived his own troubled childhood through them.

“It was living vicariously through people. He didn’t have a childhood, he was in the studio all the time,” Jackson says.

“He would ask me and my brothers about birthday parties. He would be so intrigued.”

 

The documentary also sees Taj offering his take on letters that Robson and Safechuck received – written by Jackson under the pen name Uncle Dudu.

“There’s tens and tens of us that have these notes. I had these, my brothers had these,” explained Taj.

“He was like that, if he thought his words could help you or inspire you he would write you a letter. There’s nothing uncommon about it, but in the wrong context people who don’t know him or the context of it will think that’s weird.”

The documentary, which can be viewed in full above, also features testimonies from Jackson’s niece Brandi.

This comes after the director of 'Leaving Neverland' hit out at Jackson’s estate for calling his accusers liars, stating that “this argument falls apart”.

In a recent piece for The Guardian, Dan Reed wrote about the criticism against Robson as he previously defended Jackson under oath during his 2004 trial.

“Wade states in my film that he had perjured himself because he could not bear to see Jackson, the man he loved, go to jail,” he wrote.

Jackson’s estate also recently responded after a biographer claimed that new evidence disproved the abuse that is alleged in the film.

Source: NME / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s Estate Responds After Biographer Claims New Evidence Disproves ‘Leaving Neverland’ Abuse. 05-04-'19

The Estate Of Michael Jackson
The Estate Of Michael Jackson

"These are two individuals who filed lawsuits asking for millions of dollars after changing years of their under oath testimony."

The Estate of the late Michael Jackson has responded after a biographer claimed that his newfound evidence could disprove some of the child sexual abuse allegations levelled at Michael Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

Mike Smallcombe, a British journalist and the author of 'Making Michael', claimed that he uncovered historic testimony by Robson’s mother that contradicts Robson’s allegations detailed in 'Leaving Neverland'. Smallcombe also claims that a part of Safechuck’s allegation is inconsistent with facts surrounding the construction of Jackson’s Neverland’s train station.

In the documentary, Safechuck claimed he was abused by Jackson from 1988 to 1992 – with some of the alleged incidents taking place in a train station that Jackson had built at his California ranch. However, planning documents uncovered by Smallcombe found that the train station hadn’t been built until 1993.

“The deficiency in Safechuck’s story is this,” he told The Mirror.

“Construction on Neverland’s train station didn’t start until the latter part of 1993, and it didn’t open until the first part of 1994, when Safechuck was 16.

“So abuse in the train station wasn’t possible if the abuse stopped in 1992, as he claims in his testimony, as it didn’t even exist then. There’s a two year difference.”

Now, Jackson’s estate has told The Root that the discrepancy is “one of several lies” that Safechuck has made in the film.

“Safechuck’s allegations that he was abused in a building before it was even built and two years after he said the ‘abuse’ stopped speaks for itself, said lawyers for the estate.

“Remember these are two individuals who filed lawsuits asking for millions of dollars after changing years of their under oath testimony and multiple denials that Michael ever did anything inappropriate to them. The lawsuits were dismissed but the accusers are appealing the dismissals. I believe for the accusers, the director and HBO this has always been about the money or ratings.

'Leaving Neverland' director Dan Reed previously responded to Smallcombe’s comments and said there was “no doubt” that the date of construction had been wrongly mentioned by Safechuck.

“Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse,” said Reed on Twitter.

In an additional statement to NME, Reed said that these documents did not clash with the claims made in the film as sexual abuse is still alleged to have occurred after the construction of the train station – which is depicted in 'Leaving Neverland'.

“James Safechuck was present at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch both before and after the construction of the train station there. The two still photographs of the train station shown in the documentary were taken by Safechuck and provided to the film-maker by him. Safechuck’s testimony in the film is that he was abused by Jackson in multiple places over several years, into his teens.”

Responding to a number of stories on Twitter, Reed further denied that there was a “U-Turn” in the claims, and declared that the evidence still supports the allegations made in the film as the alleged abuse occurred both before and after the construction of the train station.

Neverland Train Station Construction PermitsMike Smallcombe been given access to the Santa Barbara County construction permits for the Neverland train station - approved Sept 2, 1993.

“1. James Safechuck was at Neverland both before and after the construction of the train station there,” wrote Reed. “The two still photos of the station shown in #leavingneverland were in fact taken by James, who is very clear that he was abused by Jackson in multiple places over many years.”

He added: “2. #leavingneverland also makes clear that sexual contact between James and #MichaelJackson continued until James Safechuck was in his teenage years. The station at Neverland is just one of the many locations where James remembers sexual activity taking place.”

Responding to Reed’s comments with The Mirror, Smallcombe described his comments as “embarrassing”.

“Because the story has been debunked, it appears Reed is now suddenly wanting to change Safechuck’s timeline himself,” he said. “Firstly, I’m shocked that he’s spoken on Safechuck’s behalf. And secondly, it’s embarrassing that he feels he has to now change the narrative of the film – which is that the alleged abuse stopped in 1992 – all because part of it has been disproved.

He continued: “That’s what happens when you take allegations like that at face value, and make no attempts to scrutinise and investigate whether they are true.”

Elsewhere, the director of the HBO/Channel 4-broadcasted documentary 'Leaving Neverland' has hit out at Jackson’s estate for calling his accusers liars, stating that “this argument falls apart”.

Source: NME / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Was 'Exposed To Most Grown Up Things' As A Child. 03-04-'19

The Jackson 5Michael Jackson was left disgusted by sex after being exposed to seedy acts as a child performing in strip clubs as part of the Jackson Five.

The late King of Pop and his brothers were made to gig at strip clubs by their father-and-manager Joe Jackson when they were at the start of their music career and one of Michael's ''worst memories'' was watching a stripper ''called Rose Marie'' push her underwear into the faces of the audience to make them sniff it when he was just six.

These experiences in his formative years made Michael wary of women as by the time he reached his teenage years he had ''been exposed to most grown up things''.

The 'Billie Jean' singer is quoted 1994 book 'Michael Jackson - The Bad Year' as saying: ''Ever since I was young I've been surrounded by strange sights. Like fans ripping off their coats, and standing nude in front of me. And being sent mountains of sexy letters with every kind of suggestion in them. You wouldn't believe some of the things that I saw at an early age. One of the worst memories that I'll never erase is a stripper who played the same club we did when I was six. She was called Rose Marie. After she had taken everything off she pushed her underwear in the faces of the audience and made them sniff it. It was disgusting. By the time I reached my teens I guess I'd been exposed to most grown up things.''

In the tome - written by journalist Rick Sky - it is also claimed that from an early age Michael was ''thrust into sex play in the dives where the Jackson Five played as his father had devised a stage routine which included a sexually crude act: at the end of a song the young Michael had to go into the audience, crawl under the tables and lift up the women's skirts''.

The 'Smooth Criminal' hitmaker also opened up about how he had a distrust of women who wanted to get close to him because he never knew what their true motives.

As a result of his misgivings about the true intentions of girls, the pop star - who died in June 2009 at the age of 50 from acute Propofol intoxication - preferred to be single.

In the book, Michael is quoted as saying: ''I just don't have time for a steady girlfriend. My career comes first. It's hard just making friends, but as far as romance is concerned, it's even harder. With so many girls around, how am I ever going to know? Being an entertainer, you can't tell who is your friend. That's why most of the time, I'd rather be by myself than with anyone else.''

'Michael Jackson - The Bad Year' was written in the wake of Michael being accused of child sex abuse by his 13-year-old friend Jordan 'Jordy' Chandler and the boy's father Evan Chandler. The musician eventually settled the matter our of court with the family for $25 million.

This year, Michael has been accused of child molestation by Wade Robson and James Safechuck in Dan Reed's documentary film 'Leaving Neverland'.

Both men regularly toured with Michael and stayed over at his Neverland ranch where they claim they were sexually abused.

James claims the abuse started when he was 10 and ended when he was in his mid-teens.

Wade stated that the abuse began when he was seven and ended when he was 14.

The Jackson Estate has refuted the claims of both men.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Taj Jackson Seeking $777,000 To Produce Doc Series About His Uncle Michael: 'I Want To Get The Truth Out There'. 03-04-'19

Taj Jackson"I’m a fighter, especially when I know I’m right," says Taj Jackson.

The 45-year-old son of former Jackson 5 member Tito Jackson is in the process of transitioning from musical artist to filmmaker in the wake of 'Leaving Neverland', the HBO documentary in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege that they were sexually abused as children by Michael Jackson. Shortly before the four-hour-plus film's premiere in early March, Taj, his father and uncles Jackie and Marlon Jackson took to the media to defend Michael against the documentary's claims.

“I knew I had to be someone out in front fighting for my uncle,” says Taj, who has since taken the additional step of creating a GoFundMe account to finance his own Jackson documentary series. (He has raised more than $114,000 of his $777,000 goal so far.) Taj says it's up to him and the Jackson family to protect Michael’s legacy, especially because the 'Leaving Neverland' director Dan Reed hadn’t ever approached them or Jackson's estate to present their side.

Taj, who says he took part in more than 200 sleepovers at Jackson's Neverland Ranch and never saw or even suspected any sexual misconduct, dismisses Robson (whom he knew during their childhoods) and Safechuck's allegations in the film, claiming the two men are interested only in making money. Taj, who says he was sexually abused by a relative when he was a child, adds that the tone of the documentary infuriated him. “There should not have been 45 minutes of them gloating about Michael in 'Leaving Neverland'. That’s not how you feel when you're abused. There’s no admiration.”

Taj, who is not a direct beneficiary of Michael Jackson's estate, spoke to Billboard in defense of his late uncle.

Read the whole article here.

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


Paris JacksonBirthday Of Paris. 03-04-'19

"Happy Birthday" to Paris, the daughter of Michael Jackson is celebrate her birthday and may blow out 21 candles. She's' feeling more and more like an adult, but that isn’t stopping her from grieving her late father, Michael Jackson.

Michael's" daughter Paris is born on April 3rd 1998 in Los Angeles, California, USA, it's "Michael's" 2nd child.

Paris Jackson has returned to the stage after suffering a medical scare, with the support of her mother Debbie Rowe, brother Prince Jackson and godfather Macaulay Culkin. Paris performed on Saturday 30 March a show at the Mint club in Los Angeles with Soundflowers band mate and boyfriend Gabriel Glenn.

You are becoming such a beautiful young woman and we know that your Dad would be so very proud of you. We hope your special day brings all the laughter and magic you desire. You are in our hearts today and always. We love you!

Happy Birthday!”

Paris Jackson and Debbie RoweParis Jackson shares sweet moment with mom Debbie Rowe at concert.

Source: Billie Jean


'Leaving Neverland’ Director Dan Reed Concedes One Of Michael Jackson Accuser’s Claims May Be Wrong. 02-04-'19

Dan ReedThe director of the controversial 'Leaving Neverland' documentary is now conceding that one claim made by one of Michael Jackson’s alleged victims may be inaccurate.

According to the Daily Mail, in the polarizing HBO special that premiered last month, James Safechuck — who is widely considered the most credible and damaging accuser against the pop icon — described in detail how he was sexually assaulted in Jackson’s Neverland train station.

However, Jackson biographer, Mike Smallcombe, has now come forward to point out the abuse couldn’t have taken place in that location because the station wasn’t even built until two years after Safechuck says the the abuse ended.

This week, Smallcombe even tweeted an image of the construction permit issued by Santa Barbara County in September 2, 1993, which states Neverland station was not opened until 1994. But in interviews and in his lawsuit against the Jackson estate, Safechuck claimed that he was abused for four years until the age of 14 – which would fall between 1988 and 1992.

In light of this evidence, filmmaker Dan Reed says he accepts that one detail maybe incorrect. But instead of discrediting Safechuck entirely, he explains he simply got the date his abuse finished wrong.

“Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date. The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse,” he wrote in response to Smallcombe’s tweet.

Source: The Grio / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller Live' Is Getting An Extension – And That’s A Problem. 02-04-'19

Thriller LiveOnly a few weeks after the shocking 'Leaving Neverland' documentary aired, the 'Thriller Live' musical has extended its run in the West End. This begs the question, how can people so easily separate the singer's alleged actions from his cultural impact?

If you were thinking that we’d hear less from Michael Jackson following the recent allegations of child abuse in the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', today’s news that the singer’s West End musical 'Thriller Live' has been extended is a stark reminder that money talks.

‘Can’t Stop The Music! 'Thriller Live' extends its record breaking run until April 2020', read the title of the email to hit my inbox announcing the news. Yet all that exclamation mark could make me feel was exasperation over the reality that, despite the furore that has surrounded the artist for many years and has recently been amplified, he will be with us for many more years yet. Clearly, there is still an audience who want to willingly engage with his music and can easily separate it from the alleged child abuse claims. This is what I find especially challenging.

In all honesty, I don’t believe that Michael’s legacy could ever realistically be fully erased. Not only would that be impossible as his songs are sewn into every wedding, school disco and birthday party, but it would also be just as problematic to erase his music from our lives as it would be to acknowledge its presence and move on.

As with statues of figures from the colonial period of British history which we now view as intensely unsavoury in its racial and social attitudes – say, the Cecil Rhodes statue in Oxford – it is more problematic to “erase” their wrongdoings, than it is to acknowledge their role in history and learn from it.

In a perfect world, I’d like to see the same kind of treatment for the singer. I’d like to see DJ's stop playing him in clubs, outlets stop selling his music commercially, and producers stop selling tickets to a show about his music. These are all things we can control, rather than historic moments that we can’t.

French fashion house Louis Vuitton is on board with my theory. In the wake of the allegations surrounding the documentary, the brand removed the pieces inspired by the singer from its forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2019 collection, for which creative director Virgil Abloh was heavily inspired by the singer’s music videos.

In reality though, this extension is set to make the musical the 13th longest-running in West End musical history – and a very visible endorsement of the singer in our city. That makes any chance of moving on incredibly hard.

Source: The Jackal Magazine / Billie Jean


McDonalds In Best Takes Down Michael Jackson Statue. 02-04-'19

A 10 meter high statue of Michael Jackson was removed from the McDonald's restaurant in Best. The removal is a reaction to the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', in which two men accuse the American singer of abusing them when they were children, Omroep Brabant reports.

"We think it is important that all guests feel comfortable when visiting our restaurants. The statue of Michael Jackson could evoke unpleasant feelings among our guests", the restaurant said to the broadcaster. The statue has been standing in front of the McDonald's in the Noord-Brabant town since 1996.

MJ StatueMcDonald Head Office has decided to remove the Michael Jackson HIstory Statue which was used in 1995 to promote Michael’s album 'HIStory'.

The franchisee understands why the statue had to be removed, according to the broadcaster. He donated the statue to the Dutch Michael Jackson fan club. A new location for it is being sought.

Source: NL Times / Billie Jean

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