Michael Jackson Estate fights HBO following Jackson docuseries


Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson at the Scopus Awards Dec. 14, 1986 in Los Angeles. The late king of pop’s reputation has been demolished due to accusations of child molestation.

By Peter Zemeske

In the wake of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland,” the two part docuseries containing sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who stayed at the titular Neverland Ranch as children, the Jackson estate is struggling to act as damage control. The estate released a two hour concert video March 3 on YouTube, the same night as the premiere of “Leaving Neverland.”

The Oct. 1, 1992 concert was the opening date for the Dangerous tour in Bucharest, Romania. The move to release the concert footage was certainly meant to divert attention away from “Leaving Neverland” and toward Jackson’s unparalleled ability to entertain.

Some radio stations in Canada and New Zealand have responded to the docuseries by removing Jackson’s music from their playlist, according to a March 6 article from Complex. Removing the late pop star’s music is just the beginning of the backlash his reputation is facing.

A children’s museum in Indianapolis has removed three pieces of Jackson memorabilia from its exhibits March 18 and animated sitcom “The Simpsons” have removed an episode from the series called “Stark Raving Dad,” in which Jackson makes a cameo appearance, from television viewing. The episode will no longer be able to be streamed nor will it appear on future DVD releases, according to a March 11 Slate article.

The Jackson estate is still moving forward with a lawsuit against HBO claiming the company violated a 1992 non-disparagement contract the company had with the singer made when it televised “Michael Jackson in Concert in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour,” the same concert the Jackson estate released to YouTube.