Listening to Billie Jean will forever be marred by the haunting recounts of two boys Michael Jackson allegedly abused. As will Beat It, Thriller, Man In the Mirror, Smooth Criminal, Black Or White… the list goes on.
But amid the shocking sex crime allegations brought to light in HBO’s new documentary Leaving Neverland, it appears the world is still steadily streaming the music legend’s music. The two-part, four-hour doco spotlights two men – Australian Wade Robson and American Jimmy Safechuck – who go into incredible detail about how Jackson first groomed them as little boys under the guise of his superstardom to then sexually abuse them for years.
According to Neilsen, Jackson’s music is streamed on average between 16 million and 17 million times each week in the United States across Spotify, Apply Music and Tidal. Despite Robson and Safechuck’s graphic accounts, this number did not drop the week of the documentary aired this week. As per the New York Times, the documentary’s premiere on March 3 and 4 saw 16.49 million music streams – smack bang in the middle of its average. Radio stations in New Zealand and Canada are leading the way and have ceased playing Jackson’s music. (It appears the publicity surrounding the documentary only served to stir up interest. Streaming numbers peaked at 22.8 million in the week leading up to the documentary’s release.)
Other radio station across the States are split. In their minds, the court of public opinion is still out and radio stations have – for now – only reduced the number of plays to placate both the haters and the supporters. According to experts, it will take two to three weeks for this pattern to balance out and settle as more and more people watch the documentary.
If you haven’t watched the documentary yet, you can stream it now on Ten Play here. The most disturbing parts involve vivid recounts of how Jackson allegedly began fondling the boys which led to oral sex. As they got a little older, Jackson pushed them into penetrative sex. Robson remembers having the music star’s “adult-size penis in my mouth, a little seven-year-old’s mouth” and Jackson’s instructions for Robson to throw out the pair of underwear he was wearing.
Just like comedian Pete Davidson recently said on Saturday Night Live: “You don’t know how good someone’s music really is until you find out they’re a Paedophile.” He was largely referring to R.Kelly but regardless, we all need to boycott Michael Jackson. It’s black and white.