Artist News says listening to Michael Jackson’s music is fine, employing Holocaust comparison as justification

By | Published on Monday 1 April 2019

Michael Jackson

Whether or not it’s OK to listen to Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of the ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary is something some people have agonised over for weeks now. But says that playing Jackson tracks is no worse than using products made by a company with connections to the Holocaust, so you should just get on with it.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the new series of ‘The Voice’, the Black Eyed Peas frontman said: “We live in a very, very, very, very hypocritical, double-standard, fake society. I can name a thousand other products that we still buy, still use, that are owned by folks that have done the most horrendous things to people, millions of them, and we don’t take their products from the market. You’re not talking about banning Bayer that made the chemicals to kill all the Jews. You’re not talking about real shit and yet you want to flex on a song?”

Actually, Bayer used slave labour from concentration camps during the Holocaust, rather than supplying deadly chemicals for gas chambers. Still, having made this connection, asked if he therefore believes that Jackson is guilty of the child abuse he is accused of in the ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary, said he remains unsure. He is, he said, pulled between wanting to support victims of abuse and the memory of someone he worked with and considered a friend.

“I’m torn, because that’s not the Michael Jackson I loved and will always love”, he said. “It is a smear campaign, there’s been a number of smear campaigns in the past. If [Jackson] did it, it’s sad and inhumane. If he didn’t, what’s happening is sad and inhumane. And for somebody that knows him, you’re torn. You have the doc. Your heart wants to believe them but they’re on record lying so how am I supposed to trust that?”

That latter point relates to the Michael Jackson estate’s frequent reminders that the two men who feature in ‘Leaving Neverland’ previously spoke out in support of the pop star when he was still alive. Though that is something that is dealt with in the documentary itself.

Nevertheless, goes on to suggest that he is leaning towards believing in Jackson’s innocence, noting: “I don’t know what to trust or believe, when I don’t know who’s behind it”. Except, whoever is behind it is probably motivated by the money, he then reckons, adding: “Obviously it’s money, when The Beatles’s catalogue, Sly And The Family Stone’s catalogue is still with the estate”.

Presumably in that latter statement is observing how the estate also has commercial interests beyond the pop star’s own now tarnished legacy.

Except, of course, it has a lot less interests beyond Jackson than it used to, since it sold its half of Beatles publisher Sony/ATV back in 2016. Although it does still have a stake in songs other than Jackson’s own work via the Mijac Music business, which includes the Sly And The Family Stone oeuvre.