The first half of the much anticipated documentary, Leaving Neverland, aired in the UK and Ireland last night. The documentary, which details the alleged sexual abuse by Michael Jackson on two boys, has caused many radio stations around the world to remove the singer’s music from their playlists.
Yesterday, prior to the airing of the documentary, RTÉ said that Michael Jackson’s music did not appear on their station, 2FM’s, playlist, but stated that presenters on Radio 1 were free to select music for their own shows. However, following the incredibly impassioned reaction to the airing of the documentary’s first-half last night, they have changed their stance.
A statement from RTÉ concerning this read, “As listeners may find the playing of Michael Jackson’s music insensitive, RTÉ has no plans to playlist his music at this time.”
It is unclear whether this implies they will be permanently banning his music from their stations going forward or whether this simply marks a temporary suspension while controversy surrounding the documentary is still rife.
Numerous other radio stations throughout the world, including in Canada and New Zealand, have removed his music from their playlists.
The second part of Leaving Neverland will air next Wednesday at 9pm on RTÉ.