(DAILY MAIL) — Michael Jackson’s music appears to have been dropped from BBC Radio 2’s playlists following new child sex abuse claims.
The decision is reported to have been made last week ahead of Channel 4 News’s documentary about the star’s alleged crimes, Leaving Neverland, which will be broadcast this week.
In the programme, the Sunday Times reports that James Safechuck, 40, and Wade Robson, 36, claim they were sexually assaulted and raped while children by the pop star after being groomed over a number of years.
Mr Robson said in an interview with the BBC last week that the abuse started when he was just seven.
He said: ‘Every time I stayed the night with him, he abused me. Fondling, touching, my entire body and my penis.’
Both Mr Robson and Mr Safechuck had defended Jackson before his death by offering testimony in a court case that the star had not abused them.
Some of his dedicated fans have said this is proof of Jackson’s innocence.
The BBC announced last week that it had commissioned a BBC 2 programme about the latest revelations, Michael Jackson: The Rise and Fall.
Radio 2 hasn’t played a solo Jackson track since last Saturday, when they broadcast his 1979 hit Rock With You.
Former pop star Gary Glitter, who was jailed for 16 years in 2015 for having sex with a 12-year-old fan, attempting to rape an eight-year-old and indecent assault, similarly disappeared from radio airwaves when earlier abuse revelations came to light.
A spokesman for the corporation said: ‘It is not true that Michael Jackson has been dropped off the Radio 2 playlist – which is new releases – as he hasn’t been featured on it.
‘We don’t ban songs or artists and Michael Jackson, like any other artist could, be played on BBC Radio – as we have said, we consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind.’