'Leaving Neverland' backlash: Children's museum removes Michael Jackson artefacts from exhibit
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has taken down three pieces of memorabilia as abuse allegations resurface
In the wake of a documentary that renews allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, a children's museum has removed memorabilia from the late singer from an exhibit.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, which is located just a couple of hours away from the Jackson family’s hometown of Gary, Indiana, took down three items from display after Leaving Neverland aired.
A hat and glove worn by the Thriller singer, as well as a signed poster of Jackson, are no longer on exhibit at the museum, according to The Indianapolis Star.
The items were purchased at an auction a number of years ago, CBS added, and had formed part of the museum's American Pop exhibit.
"As the world's largest children's museum, we are very sensitive to our audience," Kimberly Harms Robinson, the museum's director of media and public relations, told CBS. "In an excess of caution, and in response to the controversy over the HBO film called Leaving Neverland, which directly involved allegations of abuse against children, we removed those objects while we carefully consider the situation more fully."
The four-hour film, which screened in two parts, featured interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the singer when they were children.
The documentary, which first premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, also included testimonies from family members, as well as old footage of Jackson.
Canada's Cogeco – which operates 22 radio stations across Quebec and one in Ontario – has stopped playing music from the singer since the film aired, as has New Zealand's MediaWorks. The Los Angeles Lakers have also replaced Jackson’s song Beat It from their entertainment, while producers from The Simpsons have pulled a 1991 episode starring Jackson from circulation.
The artist's estate has made repeated bids to quash and discredit Leaving Neverland, most recently filing a $100 million (Dh367.3m) lawsuit against HBO just two weeks before the film aired.
Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009 after being given an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, faced multiple allegations of child sex abuse during his lifetime.
In addition to his 2005 acquittal the performer paid a $15m court settlement in 1994 over allegations involving another child.
Updated: March 17, 2019 11:24 AM