A few weeks after HBO’s premiere of Finding Neverland, a docu-series alleging the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had sexually abused two dancers when they were kids, the late singer and his memory has faced tremendous backlash not only from the entertainment world but also from partners who initially wanted to honor his memory.
The recent of the said backlash is the announcement made by Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading apparel and bag manufacturer, to drop the Michael Jackson-inspired collection that it released a few months ago from its new collection.
The collection, which previously included garments inspired by Michael Jackson, was shown at the Paris Fashion Week in January on a set inspired by the late singer’s song “Billie Jean” video. Louis Vuitton’s designer Virgil Abloh also wrote a lengthy tribute to Jackson in his show notes and posted a poem about the icon on Instagram.
The collection featured a black T-shirt printed with Jackson’s trademark shoes and white socks, variations on the legendary three-zip red jacket worn by the late singer in the video for “Beat It,” and the flag of the singer’s home state, Indiana was emblazoned on one of the coats, among others.
Louis Vuitton announced that it would no longer make any piece from the collection “that directly features Michael Jackson elements,” Abloh added, “I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.”
WAS NEVERLAND FOUND?
Finding Neverland, and interview docu-series featuring the alleged victims of Jackson’s molestation has stirred so much controversy after it was aired a few weeks ago. The first part of the docu-movie revolves around Wade Robson and James Safechuck who claimed to have been systematically and sexually abused by the late famous pop star. The two said that they met Michael Jackson when they were child dancers, and he groomed them with particular measures so nobody would know the sexual abuse.
“He would run drills with me where, you’d be in the hotel room, and he would pretend like somebody was coming in, and you had to get dressed as fast as possible without making noise,” Safechuck said. “So not getting caught was a big, like, just kind of fundamental. It was very much a secret, and he would tell me that if anybody found out, his life would be over and my life would be over.”
“He was one of the kindest, most gentle, loving, caring people I knew. He helped me … tremendously. He helped me with my career. He helped me with my creativity, with all of those sorts of things. And he also sexually abused me. For seven years,” Robson stated.
Safechuck and Robson both allege that Jackson’s sexual abuse spanned several years, up until they were teenagers. Safechuck also said he felt Jackson separated him from his family. “At the same time the sexual relationship is growing, he’s working on pushing you away from your parents,” Safechuck said. “Or pushing you away from everybody else, and … and it feels more like … like it’s just you and him.”
The documentary also accused the clandestine relationship between Jackson and Brett Barnes as well as with Macaulay Culkin – who both denied the allegations and have publicly defended the late King of Pop from any wrongdoings. Barnes later denied the accusation.
DROPPING MICHAEL JACKSON
Louis Vuitton is not the only entity which previously honored the memory of Jackson that has now turned their back to the pop star. A few days ago, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis had also removed two of Michael Jackson’s memorabilia from display following the airing of Finding Neverland.
The removed items include Jackson’s iconic gloves and fedoras, purchased at auction in 2017, as well as an autographed Michael Jackson poster that remained to be on display in the museum until this month, when curators at the museum decided to remove the items in the wake of the allegations against Jackson in the HBO’s Finding Neverland.
“When we put together exhibitions, we look at the objects and their association with high-profile people. Obviously, we want to put stories in front of our visitors (showing) people of high character,” the museum’s director of collections Chris Carron said in an interview.
“When you learn new stories, or you look at something historical in a different way, then sometimes we re-evaluate whether that’s appropriate to be (on display).”
Other entities include The Simpsons franchise has removed a Michael Jackson-voiced animated episode called Stark Raving Dad (initially released in 1991), several radio stations have dropped MJ’s music from their playlist, and LA Lakers are no longer including “Beat It” as part of their in-game entertainment. /apr