The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has confirmed that Michael Jackson will remain in the prestigious institution, despite facing extensive allegations of child abuse.
Leaving Neverland, which split opinion when part one aired in the UK earlier this month, focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.
The music icon was inducted into the prestigious hall twice during his lifetime, once with the Jackson 5 in 1997, and again as a solo artist in 2001.
While the documentary sees extensive allegations of abuse being levelled against Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, it seems his position in the hall isn’t up for question.
Last week, TMZ, reported that Jackson would remain in the hall after being “recognized for musical excellence and talent, along with having a lasting impact on rock ‘n’ roll. In other words, MJ changed music, like, forever.”
Now, official confirmation comes via a statement issued to 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,” they confirmed in a statement.
“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.”
This comes after Madame Tussauds have said that all waxwork statues of Michael Jackson are set to remain on display at all of their museums while the Thriller musical will also continue.
‘The figures on display at Madame Tussauds reflect profiles that have had an impact on popular culture and that visitors expect to see,” a spokesperson told NME.
“Michael Jackson has been and is currently a feature of Madame Tussauds attractions around the world. We regularly monitor our choice of figures on display based on external events and visitor feedback.”
Rudi Dolezal, a music video producer who worked with Jackson for numerous years, also recently described the singer as “a predator” and spoke out for the accusers.
“I believe almost every word. It’s brilliant work,” he said of Leaving Neverland. “Nobody would stop Michael,” he continued. “It’s hard to believe an icon is a con.”
But Jackson’s niece Brandi has also claimed that the accusers were “liars” and “motivated by money”, while Aaron Carter also questioned their motives and said that they were “stomping on a legend’s grave“.
Earlier this month, Jackson’s nephew Taj confirmed to NME that he was working on a counter-documentary to hit back at the claims made by Robson and Safechuck in the film.