NZ radio whites out Michael Jackson

Caption: A totally-not-creepy gallery.

When I was a young lad in the 80s, navigating between paisley underground, hardcore punk and goth, commercial pop music was anathema to me. None more so than the self-proclaimed ?King of Pop?, Michael Jackson (to quote Game of Thrones? Tywin Lannister, ?Any man who must say ?I am the king? is no true king?). I fondly dreamt of never having to hear another Michael Jackson song again.

New Zealanders are lucky enough to live in such a paradise. Quote:

Disgraced pop star Michael Jackson will no longer be played on New Zealand radio stations.

NZME, which owns ZM, The Hits, Flava and more – including the New Zealand Herald – will no longer play Jackson’s songs on air.

Dean Buchanan, group director of entertainment at NZME says: “NZME station playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them”.

Mediaworks’ stations, which include The Breeze and More FM, will also not be playing the artist’s songs. End of quote.

It?s long been widely rumoured that Michael Jackson was as innocent as O. J. Simpson, so why the sudden change of heart? Quote:

This comes after the shocking documentary Leaving Neverland aired in the US, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck outline the abuse allegedly inflicted upon them by Jackson when they were children.

The revelations in the documentary series are said to be so upsetting, mental health professionals had to be on hand when the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January.

On Tuesday, the documentary’s director Dan Reed spoke out in a no holds barred interview with the Telegraph.

He said: “We’re going to have to re?evaluate the way we see Michael Jackson?”People will have to listen to his music in the knowledge that he was a prolific child rapist. End of quote.

To be rigorously fair, just because it’s in a documentary doesn’t make it true. These are, still, only allegations: what’s more, made by the very people who had previously strenuously denied them in court.

In any case, people listen to music and watch movies made by other people who were just as horrible. Once you start going down this road, you?re opening up a can of worms of personae non grata.

Plenty of ?beloved? celebrities have less-than-salubrious pasts. Jimmy Page had a 14-year-old groupie kidnapped (literally: his bouncer grabbed her and threw her in the back of a limo, warning her not to move, or he?d ?have her fucking head?. He then locked her up in his mansion, where he banged her for three years, until she was ?legal?.

Sean Penn tied Madonna to a chair and beat her up with a baseball bat. Rick James kidnapped, raped and tortured a 24-year-old. Elvis married a 14-year-old; Jerry Lee Lewis his 13-year-old first cousin: while both those were technically legal, they?re still creepy as hell.

Phil Spector shot Lana Clarkson in the mouth, killing her. Which means, if you want to remove his grubby, murdering paws from your ears, no more listening to pop classics from Unchained Melody and River Deep, Mountain High, and the Beatles? Let It Be.

Brian Singer, director of Bohemian Rhapsody, The Usual Suspects and X-Men is alleged to be a prolific paedophile. Disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein produced a string of critical and box-office hits.

How far one goes in separating the art from the artist is a difficult and fine line. Roman Polanski is a convicted child rapist who has avoided his punishment for decades. He also makes undeniably great films. If I was to boycott every movie whose stars were lefty wankers, I?d never watch another movie again. Gary Glitter is a truly vile person, but the Glitter Band pumped out some 70s rock classics. Mick Jagger is a turd, too. Pink Floyd?s Roger Waters is an anti-semite. David Bowie shagged under-age groupies.

I even have an album of Charles Manson?s late 60s demo recordings. Some are reasonably good songs, but it sure makes for uncomfortable listening ? especially when the cherubic girls singing along ended up as brutal, crazed murderers.

So, are NZME making the right call in banning Whacko Jacko? Should Kiwis be able to hear their favourite (alleged) boy-buggerer on the radio? Quote:

“If they’re comfortable doing that, fine. If they’re not, well perhaps listen to something else for a while.” End of quote.

A Newspaper.