NME Festival blog: TfL to remove Michael Jackson ‘innocent’ adverts from circulation

The London travel organisation had faced calls to take down the adverts since they went up on buses last week

Transport for London have announced that they will be removing the controversial advertisements which proclaim Michael Jackson‘s innocence from circulation on their buses and bus stops.

Supporters of the late singer crowdfunded the money needed for the advertisements in the wake of the Leaving Neverland documentary, which aired in the UK for the first time last week and contains testimonies from two men who allege that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

Jackson denied any wrongdoing before he died in 2009, and civil suits which were brought against Jackson’s estate following his death were thrown out by a judge in 2017, who ruled the estate could not be held liable for the singer’s behaviour.

After concerns about the adverts – which bore the tag line “Facts don’t lie. People do” alongside an image of Jackson’s face with the word ‘Innocent’ plastered across his mouth – were raised by a number of sexual assault survivors and charities including the Survivors Trust, TfL have now taken the decision to take them down from circulation.

“We have reviewed our position and will be removing these advertisements,” TfL told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme today (March 13). “They have been rejected due to the public sensitivity and concern around their content.”

The adverts had been due to continue being displayed on London buses and bus stops until March 24.

Last week, supporters of Jackson staged a demonstration outside Channel 4’s headquarters ahead of their UK premiere of Leaving Neverland.


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