- Tony Barson/WireImage
- Michael Jackson’s legacy has been under heigthened scrutiny since the release of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland.”
- The two-part documentary focuses on the accounts of two men who say Jackson sexually abused them when they were boys in the ’80s and ’90s. Jackson, who died in 2009, denied molesting children during his life and was acquitted of unrelated child-molestation charges in 2005.
- A new INSIDER poll indicates that Jackson has lost about one-third of his regular listeners over the past decade – but only 10% of people in that group cited the accusations as a reason why.
- Far more respondents described his music as old or outdated, simply believing that Jackson’s relevance in the musical landscape has declined.
- About 35% of those polled said they listen to about the same amount of Jackson’s music as they did 10 years ago.
Michael Jackson’s legacy has been the subject of increaed public debate since the release of HBO’s harrowing documentary “Leaving Neverland” earlier this month.
The four-hour, two-part documentary focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Jackson sexually abused them when they were boys in the ’80s and ’90s. (Jackson denied molesting children during his life and was acquitted of unrelated child-molestation charges in 2005.)
INSIDER recently conducted a survey to examine the effect of “Leaving Neverland” on Jackson’s fans, polling 1,024 American adults through SurveyMonkey.
While regular listeners of Jackson’s music appear to be diminishing, the abuse allegations may not be to blame
About a third of those polled (33%) reported listening to less of Jackson’s music than they did 10 years ago, around the time Jackson died of an overdose.
Only 10%of the people in that group, however, cited the allegations as a reason why.
Far more respondents credited their decreased listening to changing music trends. Many described his music as old or outdated, simply believing that Jackson’s relevance in the musical landscape has declined.
About 35% of those polled said they listen to the same amount of Jackson’s music as they did 10 years ago. Another 6% said they listen to more of his music, while about 26% said they’ve never actively been a fan – and a small portion (7%) of the respondents in the latter group mentioned the alleged abuse.
In the documentary’s wake, many public figures and institutions have distanced themselves from the “Thriller” singer
Radio stations from around the globe have banned Jackson’s music following the release of “Finding Neverland.” Museums, designer fashion brands, and even sports teams have removed Jackson references and memorabilia from collections and displays.
And the showrunners of “The Simpsons” have decided to pull an iconic Jackson-voiced episode from circulation.
“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” the show’s longtime executive producer, James L. Brooks, said of the decision.
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- ‘Goonies’ actor Corey Feldman came to Michael Jackson’s defense after ‘Leaving Neverland’ accused the singer of being a pedophile
- ‘Leaving Neverland’ director explains why he didn’t interview Macaulay Culkin for his brutal Michael Jackson documentary
- ‘Leaving Neverland’ director explains which part of his Michael Jackson doc disturbs him the most and why
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,082 respondents collected March 10, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.12 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.