Is the Me Too movement behind NZ radio's Michael Jackson ban?

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 7 March 2019, 8:31a.m.
Michael Jackson. Photo / Getty Images

Michael Jackson will no longer be played on New Zealand radio stations.

NZME, which owns ZM, The Hits, Flava and more - including Newstalk ZB - will no longer play Jackson's songs on air.

Dean Buchanan, group director of entertainment at NZME says: "NZME station playlists change from week to week and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them".

Mediaworks' stations, which include The Breeze and More FM, will also not be playing the artist's songs.

This comes after the shocking documentary Leaving Neverland aired in the US, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck outline the abuse allegedly inflicted upon them by Jackson when they were children.

The revelations in the documentary series are said to be so upsetting, mental health professionals had to be on hand when the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January.

Brand strategist, Jill Brindsdon told Mike Hosking this is a very quick reaction.

"I find it very hard to believe that they are listening to all of their audience and all of their audience is saying yes."

"There would be an awfully lot of people we wouldn't be listening to our art we wouldn't be viewing if we really used our moral compasses."

She said historically people have separated an artist's music from their personal life.

"Elvis Presley was known for his love of the underage girls but we have separated that and we have separated that very, very well."

However, she said the Me Too movement has stirred up a lot of strong emotions and feelings.

"This is the time that these things are going to be pulled up a lot more."

Brinsdon said radio stations are being cautious because they want to protect their advertisers.

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