"Child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward"
Michael Jackson accuser Wade Robson has spoken out on MTV’s decision to keep an award named after the late popstar in the wake of resurfaced allegations of child abuse.
Robson was one of the figures who spoke out against Jackson in the controversial film Leaving Neverland earlier this year. The documentary, which split opinion when part one aired in the UK earlier this year, focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In the wake of the film being shown, Jackson’s songs were subsequently banned on numerous radio stations around the world.
This week, MTV announced that Missy Elliot would be winning the ‘Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award’ at the upcoming VMAs, choosing to keep Jackson’s name attached. It has previously been won by the likes of Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Rihanna, and P!nk, and is described as “MTV’s highest honour”.
The award was named for Jackson in 1991, before the first molestation accusations against him in 1993. Now, Robson has described their decision to keep his name attached as “unfortunate”.
“I don’t personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it’s an unfortunate choice,” Robson told TheWrap.
- Read more: “It’s one-sided and biased” – Taj Jackson attempts to defend his uncle, Michael Jackson, against the Leaving Neverland fallout.
Watch footage of Michael Jackson fans protesting his innocence on the streets of London earlier this year below.
MTV are yet to make a comment on the Vanguard Award matter.
Jackson denied any wrongdoing before his death in 2009, while his family and estate continue to fight against the allegations. Last month, fans filed a lawsuit against the alleged victims in Leaving Neverland.