by Rachel West
Despite the allegations of sexual abuse detailed in the HBO docuseries “Finding Neverland”, streams of Michael Jackson’s music have actually increased since it aired.
While radio play of Jackson’s songs fell 32 per cent in the weeks following the broadcast, the same isn’t true of on-demand listening. Streams of Jackson’s songs increased by 22 per cent in the same 31-week period following the documentary’s release, according to Billboard.
In “Finding Neverland”, Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege Jackson repeatedly sexually abused them when they were children in the 1980s and ’90s. Their accusations launched a wave of debate among fans and radio stations alike who argued whether the King Of Pop’s music should be played.
Backlash was swift as reviews of the documentary predicted the film would tarnish Jackson’s musical legacy, with radio stations in Canada and New Zealand pulling Jackson’s music from their rotation and Jackson interviewer Oprah Winfrey siding with Safechuck and Robson. Jackson’s family called the accusations a “public lynching,” adding the singer isn’t around to defend himself and was previously found innocent of child molestation charges in a 2005 trial. The singer’s estate filed a $100-million lawsuit against HBO.