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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