The fallout from the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary continues — but more celebrities are sticking up for Michael Jackson.
Worldwide, radio stations are pulling Jackson’s music. Broadway shows are being shelved, and Jackson covers are being scratched from performance lists.
But Michael Jackson still has his defenders and apologists. That slowly-growing list now includes rapper/entertainer Will.i.am, who has stated that playing Jackson’s music is no worse than patronizing a company with connections to the Holocaust.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman was speaking at a press conference promoting a new series of The Voice when he made the comments.
“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?”
When asked about his thoughts on the allegations contained in the documentary, Will.i.am says he’s conflicted. He says he is pulled between wanting to support victims of abuse and the memory of someone important to him.
“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?”
Bayer itself has not responded, and is likely choosing to remain quiet on the matter. The German pharmaceutical and chemicals company had used slave labor in concentration camps during World War II. Will.i.am’s comments are not entirely inaccurate, though Bayer did profit off of the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Will.i.am further commented, stating that he believes that whoever is behind the documentary is “probably motivated by the money.”
Others are also speaking out in favor of the late Michael Jackson.
Barbara Streisand also found herself in hot water when she said that Jackson’s abuse “didn’t kill them.” She also expressed sympathy for Michael, saying he was very sweet and childlike when she met him.
She added that she blamed the children’s parents more than anyone.
Michael Jackson’s estate is suing HBO for more than $100 million over the airing of the Leaving Neverland documentary.