HBO’s latest documentary, Leaving Neverland, has prompted reactions from several radio stations. The documentary, which aired this past Sunday (3/3), discusses the allegations of child molestation against the late Michael Jackson.
Leaving Neverland caused several Montreal radio stations under the parent company Cogeco Media to stop airing Jackson’s music. The radio stations’ decision comes at the request of their listeners. Christine Dicaire, Cogeco’s director of marketing and communications, stated:
“We are attentive to listeners’ comments, and last night’s documentary created reactions.”
Following Cogeco, two of the biggest radio stations in New Zealand also decided to stop airing Jackson’s music. The New York Times has reported that the content director of New Zealand’s MediaWorks Leon Wratt has similarly stated:
“We aren’t deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of pedophilia or not. We’re just merely trying to make sure that our radio stations are going to play the music that people want to hear.”
The Jackson family has allegedly filed a lawsuit against HBO and the documentary’s creators, claiming that Leaving Neverland violates a non-disparagement agreement from a previous contract. Despite the controversy, the documentary itself has broken records as HBO’s third largest audience in the past decade, averaging at 1.29 million viewers.