Michael Jackson: RTÉ drops music from all radio stations

RTÉ has ‘no plans to playlist’ Jackson’s music, as listeners might find it ‘insensitive’

Michael Jackson performs in Singapore, during his 1993 Dangerous tour. Photograph:  STR/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Jackson performs in Singapore, during his 1993 Dangerous tour. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

 

RTÉ has said it “has no plans to playlist” any of Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of sexual abuse allegations levelled against the singer in the Leaving Neverland documentary.

“As listeners may find the playing of Michael Jackson’s music insensitive, RTÉ has no plans to playlist his music at this time,” a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson confirmed that this policy applied to all RTÉ radio stations including RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm, and RTÉ Gold.

Yesterday it was reported that the public service broadcaster had not banned Jackson’s music and that it was being left to the discretion of individual presenters.

Earlier this week, RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy told listeners that he would not play Michael Jackson on his show again.

“The chances are, you won’t hear one again on this programme being played again, because it just leaves one very queasy at the thought,” said Tubridy.

“If a quarter of what those say happened to them at the hands of Michael Jackson... then we all have to sit down and reassess our approach to that pop star and that icon, and probably, I have to say – his back catalogue.”

Radio stations across the world have dropped Michael Jackson from their playlists following the release of Leaving Neverland. Stations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands have all confirmed that they will not be playing music from the late singer.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that BBC had banned Jackson’s music, but a spokesperson later denied those claims.

“The BBC does not ban artists,” said a spokesperson. “We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind.”

Leaving Neverland has caused shockwaves since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The four-hour documentary features the testimonies of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused by the singer as children. Jackson’s estate has denied all allegations and has filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO.

Part one of the documentary aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday night with the second part set to air Thursday night.

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