The disturbing and detailed child sexual abuse allegations levied against Michael Jackson in HBO's documentary Leaving Neverland has forced the music industry to reckon with the pop superstar's legacy, and whether or not his ubiquitous presence should be re-evaluated. According to reporting from TMZ and Pitchfork, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced that it will not remove Jackson's memorabilia from its museum in Cleveland, and will keep Jackson as a Hall of Fame inductee.
Read the Hall of Fame's statement below via Pitchfork:
Michael Jackson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Jackson 5 in 1997 and as a solo artist in 2001. As with all of our inductees, Jackson was recognized for musical excellence and talent as well as having a significant impact on rock’n’roll, and was elected by a diverse voting body of historians, fellow musicians, and music industry professionals. Original artifacts and memorabilia from many artists’ lives and performances are on display in our exhibits. There are no plans for this to change.
The allegations aired in Leaving Neverland have polarized the music industry and beyond. Virgil Abloh announced last week that his upcoming fall 2019 menswear designs for Louis Vuitton would no longer include clothes that reference Michael Jackson, and producers for The Simpsons shelved an episode featuring a guest appearance from Jackson. However, musicians like Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, , and T.I. have come to Jackson's defense.
Michael Jackson's estate is currently suing HBO for airing Leaving Neverland, claiming the documentary violates a non-disparagement clause signed with the network. The estate has denounced the documentary as "tabloid character assassination."