From the morning of this Monday, Billie Jean, Thriller Y Black or White, planetary successes of Michael Jackson, have stopped playing on some radio stations in the Canadian province of Quebec (eastern Canada). In fact, every song known as the King of Pop has stopped being programmed on the Cogeco Media group stations, one of the largest in the country. The reason: several listeners requested it after the diffusion of a documentary, on the television network HBO, which accuses the singer of having sexually abused two minors.
The first part of Leaving Neverland, the documentary directed by Dan Reed, aired on Sunday night. The second, and last part, aired one day later. In this work, Wade Robson and James Safechuck they claim that Michael Jackson sexually abused of them when they were children, narrating it in detail. The singer's family has described the documentary as a "political lynching" that does not provide evidence. "We are listening to the comments of the listeners and yesterday's documentary [domingo] at night generated reactions, "explained the Director of Communication of Cogeco Media, Christine Dicarie, to The Canadian Press agency.
The company has three stations in Montreal (CKOI, Rythme and The Beat) and twenty more in other areas of Quebec. All of them removed from their air the songs of the singer who died in 2009 due to an overdose of medicines. So far, no other Canadian radio group has indicated that it will establish the same veto. Users of social networks in Quebec applauded the decision of Cogeco Media; others labeled it as nonsense motivated by political correctness.
On Sunday, some media reported that BBC Radio 2 would no longer broadcast the idol's songs from Indiana because of the content of the documentary. However, the British chain subsequently made some clarifications to Variety. Indeed, Jackson does not sound on the airwaves of BBC Radio 2, but because the programming is integrated by new releases. However, other stations continue broadcasting the songs of the American singer. "The BBC does not censor artists," a spokesperson told the magazine. On the other hand, NZME and MediaWorks, the main radio groups in New Zealand, have made the same decision as the Quebecois directors of Cogeco Media.
It is not the first time that the Canadian State has lived a case related to the controversies between the life and work of an artist. In April 2011, the Theater of the New World, recognized cultural institution of Montreal, canceled – after strong pressures – the participation of Bertrand Cantat in a work. The French musician was sentenced in 2003 to eight years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of his partner, the actress Marie Trintignant. Cantat obtained the conditional release four years later. Also, the most important award of the Quebecois celluloid was renamed Iris instead of Jutra in 2016. The reason is that Claude Jutra, one of the most recognized filmmakers in the history of Quebec, was accused of pedophilia in a posthumous biography published that year (He committed suicide in 1986). A short time later, two possible victims gave their testimony in the media.