Michael Jackson receives no tribute to television in France this Tuesday, much to the chagrin of his thousands of fans asked to celebrate this anniversary in silence. The subject is considered too sensitive. Three months after its broadcast on television around the world, the documentary Leaving Nerverland continues to wreak havoc. Only the radio RFM devotes him "a special day", while the others are low profile while waiting for better days. Even the concert of the Jackson brothers, planned for a long time in Paris, was canceled.
Talleyrand had warned us: "In politics, what is believed becomes more important than what is true. The same thing could be said in the world of entertainment, where accusations and excommunications are going well, even when justice has passed and contradicts them.
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This is the case of Michael Jackson, accused of sexual abuse in the documentary by Dan Reed, Leaving Neverland, orchestrated by Wade Robson and James Safechuck whose first complaint in 2013 was dismissed by the courts. For the anecdote, it should be noted that Robson had already testified in 1993 and 2005 in favor of Michael Jackson, allowing him to be cleared and acquitted of the ten counts, including those of sexual touching on a minor. After a trial lasting more than four months, the jury also acquitted the "King of Pop" of attempted kidnapping and serving alcohol to a minor to abuse him.
The opening this summer of a new trial under tension, between the MeToo movement and the repeated scandals in the Catholic Church, will again target Michael Jackson and see the return to the bar of Wade Robson and James Safechuck who accuse him this time of pedophilia. Charges that refute of course the family of the star, his estate and his fans.
Ten years after his death, the memory of Michael Jackson is obviously dirty with such a scandal occulting his musical genius, the thuriféraires of the moral order giving heart to joy. The very ones that the American writer Bret Easton Ellis calls in his latest book, White, "Signalers of virtue", pointing out that "feelings are not facts and opinions are not crimes".
Thus, Al Jean, the showrunner and producer of the series The Simpsons, decided to eliminate, last March, the first episode of the third season, "Stark Raving Dad" (in which my friend Michael Jackson, in VF), in which the star lent his voice to a character. He explained his choice by an intimate conviction: Michael Jackson would have participated in the cartoon to attract young boys. "I think it's partly what he used to prepare boys (for a relationship)," he said. I do not really know and I have to be very careful because it's not something I personally know, but that's what I think. That's what I think and it makes me very, very sad. "
Although he admitted to having no proof, he remained firm on his positions. "It was not just comedy for him, it was something he used as a tool," he added. That's what I think and that's why it seems to me that removing the episode was the right thing to do. This episode has a fallacious goal, that's what's bothering me right now. "
Some American radios immediately took over by boycotting Michael Jackson of the antenna. Ditto in Quebec with several radios of the Cogeco group, the very popular ones of CKOI, Rythme FM and The Beat. In London, fan organizations had placards posted on the sides of London buses supporting Michael Jackson. Faced with the scandal caused by the posters, the bus company had backed down and removed these posters. In Australia and New Zealand, radio stations have also removed Jackson from their playlist.
Even the luxury clothing and accessories brand Louis Vuitton has decided to erase references to the "king of pop" in its men's fall-winter collection, which was presented in January. The collection designed by Virgil Abloh was dedicated to the singer of Thriller. As an invitation, the designer, the first African-American to lead the creation of a large French luxury house, had sent a glove covered with crystals like those of the king of pop. "I am aware that in the light of the documentary, the parade provokes emotional reactions," he confessed.
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In the face of the harm caused by Leaving Neverland, Michael Jackson's rights holders sued HBO, which produced the documentary. The 53-page lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court accuses HBO of violating a "non-disparagement" agreement it signed in 1992, during the lifetime of the pop king, and is demanding $ 100 million in damages.
No doubt, this tenth anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson turns into a nightmare awake, as if his critics wanted to erase it from our collective memory in the name of the moral order, using endless strings of legal proceedings. Some see moreover especially financial intentions …