Michael Jackson accuser speaks out on people boycotting the singer's music
The explosive allegations to come out of Dan Reed's two-part documentary, Leaving Neverland, has prompted a reckoning across the globe. Disregarding the impact it has had on Jackson's cultural legacy, and his now contentious standing as a musical icon, it has also reignited the conversation on how we - as a society - contend with fallen heroes.
Now, Wade Robson - who along with James Safechuck accused the late singer of numerous sex crimes in the HBO documentary - has issued a response to calls to boycott Jackson's music.
Speaking to TMZ, Robson said that muting the Billie Jean singer's music is "not really his concern". He continued: "If I have any hope it’s just that we’re questioning who we’re worshipping and why. It’s beyond Michael."
The choreographer spent time with Jackson between the ages of five and 14, and had intermittent overnight stays at his famed Neverland Ranch.
"I don’t listen to his music because I have a personal experience with it, but that’s everyone’s individual choice," the 36-year-old continued to the publication.
Per CNN, following the broadcast of Leaving Neverland earlier this month, radio stations in both Canada and New Zealand have dropped Jackson's music. Drake has also removed a sampling of the singer's music for his European tour.
The BBC, however, has taken a difference stance on boycotting Jackson's discography. In a statement to Variety, a representative stated: "We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind."
This comes days after footage of Jackson shopping for jewellery and toys with a young boy surfaced online - and it seemed to corroborate several of the claims made by Safechuck in the documentary.
The news story, which dates back to 1989, sees the late singer and a boy - presumably Safechuck - shopping in California.
In the clip, Jackson can be seen wearing a poor disguise consisting of a hat, wig, stick-on moustache and false teeth, which alarmed security guards in the shopping centre. The story was later picked up by media outlets.
One of the news anchors reported that the Bad singer was "shopping for rings", as he was planning to propose to his backup singer at the time, Sheryl Crow.
People have been quick to point out that the resurfaced footage seems to confirm Safechuck's claim that he had a "mock wedding ceremony" with Jackson.
"So we were like this married couple," says Safechuck in the two-part documentary. "I say married because we had this mock wedding ceremony. We did this in his bedroom and we filled out some vows, like we would be bonded forever."
Safechuck then goes onto show a "wedding ring" that Jackson reportedly gave him. He detailed that the singer was aware that he was "really into jewellery", and would "reward" him with jewellery for doing sexual acts - being a way for him to "earn the gift".
"You know, I like jewellery and I liked it as a kid so I think something that I liked was used against me. It causes discomfort," he continued. "It is still hard for me not to blame myself."
After a 14-week trial, Jackson was found not guilty of child abuse charges back in 2005.