To Play King of Pop or not? A ‘Delicate Situation’ for Radio


by Jane Stevenson, The Toronto Sun        Published:

One of Canada’s largest radio station networks has yet to tell Michael Jackson to Beat It in the fallout after the disturbing documentary Leaving Neverland aired on HBO.

But Steve Jones, Stingray’s Senior VP of Brands & Content for the company’s 103 radio stations across Canada, including Toronto’s Boom 97.3 which plays “70s, 80s and 90s,” a period covering Jackson’s heyday, said it’s “a wait and see” situation whether to drop the King of Pop.

For now, they are playing his music.

“It’s a really delicate situation,” said Jones, adding Bell Media, Rogers and Corus radio stations in Canada have yet to stop playing’s Jackson’s music either.

“And we’re talking about it and monitoring it every single day and, often, multiple times a day. We’re not in the business of censorship and we’re not in the business of being the moral compass for the community standards. We try to be reflective of those things, not a dictator of them.”


Since Leaving Neverland, in which two men including famed choreographer Wade Robson, allege the pop star abused them as young boys, three Montreal major radio stations owned by Cogeco Media (plus their radio stations in smaller Quebec markets) dropped Jackson from their playlist according to The Canadian Press.

In the U.S., Cumulus, the second-largest radio network in the country, told Variety they wouldn’t remove Jackson’s music since it is “never in favour of censorship” while the largest radio network, iHeartRadio, was leaving it up to local stations to “make the right decision regarding airplay for their communities.”

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  1. No it’s not a delicate situation.

    We separate one’s work and achievements from whom they may be. With MJ he never was convicted of said crimes.

    Erasing a person or persons from history is a most grievous of crimes not just to said person or persons erased but to the greater soiciety itself where they then will fail to know of such person or persons.

    Do you all know who was guilty of erasing people from history? The list is long but notably Joseph Stalin. It was more common than not to have Stalinist USSR erase people who fell out of favour from photos, films, books, and other media. It is as disgusting as murdering them all over again. Erasing those who are allready dead is the bottom of the barrel. For society will then soon forget and never to know what good or bad said NON PERSON(S) were.

    Gandhi slept with young teenage girls and was a racist towards blacks, should we write him out of history?

    Mother Theresa, was a cruel woman to notably other young women in trouble in life, she did many terrible things to girls in her care, should we write her out of history?

    Martin Luther King Jr. was a philanderer and a Communist, should we write him out of history?

    John Kennedy was an adulterer and had little time nor care for the black community until after MLK jr was arrested in Selma and exploded onto the civil rights scene nationally for such, should we write JFK out of history?

    Many of our more notable persons were not puritans and have skeletons in their collective closets. Us being somehow more pious and arbitrarily writing those we find objectionable out of our history is a way more guilty action to take.

    Today many will reduce MJ or seek to write him out of history, I say before doing such we should dig up long dead body and put it on trial broadcasted for world to see as we judge and vilify a dead man. We will then see YOUR LUNACY for condenming a dead man who can’t defend himself and his legacy anymore.


  2. I am an oddball becauseI have never liked Michael Jacksons music. I do recognize he was a very talented entertainer as most of the world saw him. He is gone and not able to defend himself against these allegations but that does not change the facts. Some will say he was not convicted of any of the crimes he was charged with, but on the other hand we heard of millions paid out to several parents of small boys. They all have NDA’s. I would like for the Police to reveal in detail what they found in the searches of Neverland.

    I changed my mind about Michael Jackson when I watched that documentary with him sitting being interviewed holding a boys hand many years back. That was creepy and wrong. He was constantly in the company of young boys and it just seemed uncomfortable to me. Now some of those young boys are telling their credible stories and it is grim. They are telling of textbook predatory behaviour of grooming of young boys with shame and guilt and getting them dependant on his money and power. I suspect these boys parents were blinded by the fame and the trips, the VIP treatment and the money. To me I think the parents are complicit to these crimes.

    How many times when pedophiles are discovered are people shocked. Priests, politicians, entertainers, sports coaches, teachers, truck drivers, favourite uncles and grandpa’s. People have to get over their celebrity worshiping and accept this is very likely a fact.

    As far as erasing his music, that will never happen, but I believe his celebrity brand is becoming worthless and that is why the family is fighting this. Their royalties meal ticket is about to disappear over allegations no different than the likes of Kevin Spacey and all the recent celebrities who have been shunned by their fans and the entertainment business machines who can’t be associated with the controversy. The fans are quickly slipping away and his music will become less relevant and desired. The marketplace will decide if he fades away into obscurity.


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