Despite increasing public pressure, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is refusing to remove Michael Jackson from its list of honored artists.
Radio stations throughout the world have been pulling the King of Pop from their rotations. Even museums and malls are removing Michael Jackson statues and memorabilia.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, however, isn’t tearing down its collection, despite chilling evidence of child abuse.
“As with all of our inductees, Jackson was recognized for musical excellence and talent as well as having a significant impact on rock ’n’ roll, and was elected by a diverse voting body of historians, fellow musicians and music industry professionals,” the museum states.
“Original artifacts and memorabilia from many artists’ lives and performances are on display in our exhibits. There are no plans for this to change.”
Jackson was first inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997. He was later inducted in 2001 for a second time in recognition for his work as a solo artist.
In addition to his place on the distinguished list of inductees, Jackson is also the subject of an exhibition at the Hall of Fame. Included in this exhibit are Jackson’s famed outfits and gloves.
Of course, Jackson’s past has been thrust back into the spotlight after a posthumous documentary detailed new allegations of sexual abuse.
The controversial documentary, Leaving Neverland, aired on HBO in early March. The two-part series, directed by Dan Reed, presents considerable and extensive testimony to support child abuse allegations against Jackson.
The Hall of Fame is not the only organization to stand by its inclusion of Jackson. London-based Madame Tussauds said that the wax statues of Jackson will remain at its museums despite the ongoing controversy.
The documentary relies on the testimony of alleged victims, Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41. Both men claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
Since the film aired, friends and family of Jackson have come to his defense. In response to the film, the Jackson estate launched a lawsuit against HBO. The lawsuit states that the film is nothing more than “unfettered propaganda,” though Jackson’s legacy is now in danger of being permanently tarnished.