In early March, HBO left Leaving Neverland, a four-hour documentary in which Wade Robson and James Seyfchak talk about how Michael Jackson had sex with them when they were both children. According to the stories of the heroes, the pop singer invited seven-year-old boys to a ranch, the famous Neverland, where he played various games with them, fed sweets, and also watched porn films and had sex - in the jacuzzi, in the pool and even in a toy Indian wigwam.
After the film was shown, the radio stations began to exclude Jackson’s songs from the air, Drake refused to perform the song “Don't Matter to Me”, in which there were samples from Jackson’s song, and the creators of “The Simpsons” removed the episode in which the singer participated. At the same time, of course, many accuse the filmmakers of showing only one point of view on the problem and that the stories of Robson and Seyfchak are not enough to accuse Michael Jackson of child molestation with firm certainty.
What in such a situation should those who are professionally associated with Jackson's music - DJs? The singer’s compositions on the air of Russian radio stations will most likely not stop playing - over the past week Jackson’s songs have been performed 170 times (for comparison, Madonna and Queen’s songs sounded 180 times). However, how do DJs behave at parties? Will they stop putting unchanging magic wands - songs like "Thriller" and "Billie Jean"? Following colleagues, Life around asked Moscow DJs to talk about whether their attitude towards Jackson had changed after the release of the film, whether they intend to continue to play his music and what to do in situations when it turns out that your idol turned out to be a pedophile.
party creator Cherti Party, former editor of Kinopoisk, former editor-in-chief of Life around
After watching "Leaving Neverland", for two days I found myself thinking that I was humming under the nose of "You Are Not Alone". It was not the most pleasant discovery, but I could not help myself. That was Michael Jackson’s talent - his songs are imprinted in the brain so that you won’t erase it. And then I started to notice that when the shuffle on the iPhone gave me Michael’s song, I automatically started switching to the next track. Without further ado, a click is all. I just didn't want to listen to any of his songs anymore. In the near future he will not sound at my parties. Not in protest, which is unlikely to change anything, but simply because of some unpleasant inner feeling. As if, when his voice is heard, there is less air in the room.
At the same time, I sincerely sympathize with bar DJs, for whom “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” were bread - well, nothing, you can put more Queen in their place - those are just on the rise after the release of the film “Bohemian Rhapsody”, a fabulous like Disney 50 years ago.
Due to the fact that the artist was part of a dirty story, it is not necessary to restrict access to his music. The listener can make a choice. If the producers of a radio station do not cut his music, and they are sure that their audience will not change the wave with his songs, I will not blame them. But I myself will not listen. Michael Jackson's music over the years has made the lives of millions of people better. If she helps someone today - fine. She will not force anyone to commit violence against a child.
I don’t know how my attitude towards Jackson’s work will change in the future. I’ll draw a parallel: a couple of months ago I fell out with my sister, with whom I lived in the same room all my childhood. She uttered terrible words and did not take them back. I blocked it in social networks and messengers (we live in different cities, this is our way to keep in touch). “Enough for me,” - so I decided for myself. But now we are slowly starting to communicate again. Without much warmth, but still. We are trying a little bit to understand each other. Let's see what happens.
program director of Silver Rain radio station
We are not going to remove Michael Jackson from the air, because we separate the artist’s personality from his work. I really love the early films of Roman Polansky, while everyone knows what he did (raped 13-year-old model Samantha Gamer. - Approx. ed.)- Is it because of this that his films cease to be brilliant? The same with Jackson's work - it has long existed independently and has nothing to do with the story of seducing children. Since the mid-2000s, I have been living in the full confidence that Jackson is guilty. This confidence does not stop me from listening to The Jackson 5, and during the track "I Wanna Be Where You Are" memories of personal things related to this song, and not of the Jackson scandal, will always pop up in my head.
In the story with Jackson, it is necessary to focus on what is not in the film - a huge team that covered the horror that happened in Neverland. These people are still alive, but almost nothing is said about them in the documentary, despite the fact that the guys (Robson and Seyfchak. - Approx. Ed.) talked about special castings. If we all don’t want a repeat of Neverland Gate, we need to find and deal with those who covered Jackson for many years, and leave the singer alone - all the more so since he doesn’t want to put him on an electric chair.
Also, do not forget about how old and how Michael got into show business, because it was from this, in the opinion of many, that his deviations began. I hope that in 2019 there is a special code protecting the rights of child artists in the industry. If not, then sooner or later the story will repeat.
My family never listened to Michael Jackson, therefore, to my shame, I thoroughly studied his music only in the summer of 2009, when he died. Because of this, I do not have warm family memories associated with the pop king.
I’m a child of zero and grew up at South Park, where Jackson’s pedophilia topic was already raised, so I wasn’t surprised by “Leaving Neverland”. By the way, you better watch the documentary Living with Michael, which was released during Jackson's life and shows very well that he was a complete nutter.
To the question of whether to continue to listen to the songs of Michael Jackson. My favorite director is Woody Allen, whose films I know by heart and often watch, is far from the most moral person. For example, he married his stepdaughter, but this is also a rather nasty act. However, it does not bother me at all, and I continue to watch his work with pleasure.
Likewise, I listen to the late rapper XXXTentacion, who was found guilty of domestic violence against a pregnant girl. Psychologically, it’s very difficult for me to separate the artist’s work from himself, but I’m still sure that the work is not to blame but the man is to blame, and yelling at every corner now that Michael Jackson raped the children just by watching the film on HBO is at least stupid. In no case do I defend him, however, I don’t know the real truth either, so I will remain neutral.
regular DJ at Denis Simachev Bar, party author of Love Boat
I have never been a fan of Jackson, so I rarely put him at parties. It infuriates me when radio stations and DJs stop playing musicians' compositions on the air after such scandals, so at that moment I started to set Jackson - contrary. But then I watched the film, and of course my hair moved from it.
However, even despite this, I consider it necessary to separate the personal from the professional. Yes, you can call Jackson an evil genius, but in no case can he be overthrown as a musician because he was a sick person. People tend to elevate someone to heaven, to crown and deify, then suddenly completely destroy. Of course, Michael Jackson committed a serious crime. But now, when a person has long been gone, I think you should not fiddle him in a musical sense. Well, now we have to say before each song: "Now you hear the track of the sinner-libertine"?
If the scandal happened when Jackson was alive, he probably would have been forgotten. But now he is a ghost and cannot answer, so there is no point in shaking the air and lashing out at the musician, it is better to emphasize that this problem is very old and is still hidden in many families. The most important thing is to raise the problem of pedophilia and make such cases less. Due to the fact that this tragedy is associated with a great musician, the problem has become the property of the whole society. Now everyone has a better chance of preventing it, and those who have already gone through this experience survive, speak and live happier.
This question is very slippery and delicate. It turns out that we, being super-civilized people, are not ready for such a truth and therefore do not know what is ethical and correct. However, I repeat, this problem concerns me to a lesser extent, since I have never been a big fan of Jackson - it is not so important for me to include or not include his songs in my playlist. It would be much more difficult for me not to put Natasha Vetlitskaya - “Look into the eyes”, for example. That would be a serious question!
plays at weddings and corporate parties
It is difficult to prove whether Michael Jackson was actually a pedophile. I personally think that this is absolutely unprovable - everyone just wants to hype, as they say now. This is a very, very slippery topic, and I doubt that we will ever know the full truth.
However, even if one hundred percent confirmation appears, I would rather put his compositions at parties than not. If the matter concerns the personal life of the musician, the decision to include or not include his songs at the party will be based on my personal preferences.
For example, if the performer after the crimes committed by him ends up in jail, then I definitely will not put his music on. Michael Jackson has already died and will definitely not go to jail, so I consider all the news regarding his sexual relations with children to be extremely speculative.
If tomorrow it turns out that, for example, Philip Kirkorov rapes an eight-year-old girl, and Elgej kills someone, then of course I will not put on their music. But in general, all people must decide for themselves whom they should listen to and who they should not.
My opinion is that if a person is crazy, sick, inadequate, a murderer or a rapist, then most likely he will not write anything talented.
Cover: HBO Channel 4