There’s an old saying that says “no publicity is bad publicity”. Although it may be a very cynical way of looking at the world, this story would suggest that the phrase rings true – at least in terms of dollars and cents.
The explosive two-part documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ aired last week, and saw a number of sexual abuse allegations made against the late pop star Michael Jackson. The response in the news and on social media has been intense, and it’s fair to say that people are divided in their reactions.
Many viewers were left shocked and appalled by the film, with some vowing never to listen to the so-called King of Pop’s music again.
However, on the other side of the coin, a number of die-hard fans have jumped to the defense of the singer, leading to ads appearing on London buses as part of an ongoing #MJ Innocent campaign.
— Cαɱ 🇬🇧🇦🇺 (@DangerousIncHS) March 1, 2019
Whatever your view on the allegations may be, it looks like the constant headlines and conversation have had an effect on the sales and streams of Michael Jackson’s discography.
Recent reports show that Jackson’s extensive collection of songs and albums have climbed the iTunes charts ever since the documentary aired on HBO.
The singer’s Number Ones compilation album is sat at number 87 in the charts at the time of writing, despite originally being released back in 2003. This shows that a great number of people have been inspired to revisit Jackson’s music over recent weeks, and it’s hard to deny that the Leaving Neverland documentary will have been the catalyst for that.
Meanwhile, his 2005 album The Essential Michael Jackson, 1987’s Bad, and 1982’s Thriller are reported to have launched back into the Top 200 chart of late too.
This news comes after a series of announcements from radio stations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK that they have pulled Jackson’s music from their playlists following the release of Leaving Neverland.
The four-hour documentary follows the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim to have been sexually abused by the late singer as children.
Although Jackson’s estate continues to engage in a number of ad campaigns, lawsuits, and interviews in an attempt to limit the damage of the allegations, online reaction has been largely negative, with many calling for his legacy to be destroyed.
One person tweeted: “Following the hashtag for this is pretty awful with the victim blaming and lack of understanding of how abusers groom the victims and their families.
“Actually, scratch awful. Horrific. One look at it explains all you need to get a small insight into why so many people don’t/can’t talk about child sexual abuse.”
Those who have turned their back on the later singer and his music since the documentary was released will no doubt be disgusted by this upturn in music sales – along with the financial boost to Michael Jackson’s estate. However, perhaps it’s inevitable that this would happen, given that we have easy access to music through the internet these days.