We can no longer blame it on the boogie. Michael Jackson, the undisputed King of Pop is now being revealed as the human incarnation of the boogie monster. A man who preyed on young children he'd lured into his whimsical lair, Neverland.

He had pet monkeys, fairground-style rides, a movie theatre with all-you-can-eat popcorn machines, video game arcades and creepy artefacts like the Elephant Man's skeleton. Neverland really was every kid's wildest dream come true. At least until night fell ...

It's no exaggeration to say that the whole world has been rocked by the alleged revelations exposed in the four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland. Jackson is exposed to be a master manipulator and what we now refer to as a groomer.

It makes the case, extremely convincingly by all accounts, that he was a dangerous paedophile. Director Dan Reed has since described him as, "a prolific child rapist".

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Leaving Neverland by Dan Reed, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2019 Sundance film festival. Photograph: Courtesy of Sundance Institute. supplied 26 January 2019
Leaving Neverland by Dan Reed, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2019 Sundance film festival. Photograph: Courtesy of Sundance Institute. supplied 26 January 2019

Who's bad? Jackson. Clearly. But these allegations are nothing new. Jackson battled them for a large chunk of his life.

His first counter punch landed. In what was described as a "marathon 14-week trial," Jackson fought 14 related charges, including child molestation and providing booze to kids. After eight days of deliberation a jury found him not guilty. Case closed? No.

Jackson, who by that stage had earned the cruel nickname Wacko Jacko, faced ongoing scrutiny and his reputation never really recovered as more and more eccentricities and oddities about the man's lifestyle gradually surfaced as the years rolled by.

Nevertheless, there was still plenty of wiggle room left for us to not have to think about it. We were free to get caught up in Smooth Criminal's undeniable cool, to drunkenly attempt to moonwalk to Billie Jean's seductive groove and to happily join aunties and uncles and nephews and nieces when the chirpy funk of Blame it on the Boogie got its inevitable spin at every wedding ever.

Not guilty, let's dance!

Leaving Neverland and the sexually explicit, horrifying allegations it contains has changed all that. As the documentary gradually makes its way on to screens around the globe - including ours this Sunday and Monday nights on TVNZ - Jackson's legacy gets duller.

As part of the fallout his music is not being played on some radio stations, including the BBC and - at least in its current playlist cycle - the stable that belongs to the Herald's parent company NZME.

"Our station playlists change from week to week and at this time Michael Jackson does not feature on them," NZME group director - entertainment Dean Buchanan says.

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The soundtrack to millions and millions of lives dropped. Gone. Poof! It didn't used to matter whether you believed in his innocence or guilt we could still all agree on his music. As he sung on his Number 1 chart hit, "it don't matter if you're black or white".

Now, there's little to agree on. The issue is black and white. Some say it's a prime example of #MeToo gone mad. Not guilty, let's dance!

Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Others applaud the radios stance. The way Jackson's songs make them feel is nothing short of disgusted.

So should we still be listening to Michael Jackson? On one hand, they are bloody fantastic songs that are weaved into the fabric of all of our lives like no other artist in history. But, on the other hand... alleged paedophilia.

And what about all the other, for want of a better word, greats who committed - allegedly or proven - similar heinous acts? There's not exactly a shortage of names here. Should their music be dropped as well?

Dunno. There's no easy answer. For the most part a lot of art created by problematic artists has been shunned. Thing is, no others have been as big or as musically and culturally important as Michael Jackson.

This whole thing isn't really an - ugh - "social justice warrior" issue. It's a conscience issue. The testimony of the two accusers here is too convincing, too damning, too unconscionable to excuse. "Not guilty, let's dance!" just doesn't cut it any longer.

And yeah, that really sucks. I still spin Bad, Thriller and Off the Wall regularly. Incredible records all of them. The songs are not ones you outgrow. If anything, familiarity only serves to make you appreciate Jackson's songwriting and performing genius even more.

But I think I need to stop because I've had enough. Right now I can't bring myself to listen to his songs. Not ever? Um... I honestly don't know. Maybe?

It sucks to say goodbye to the infectious rush of Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough, the sultry funk of Remember the Time, the urgent impassioned drama of Dirty Diana and - and this one really hurts - the absolutely thrilling guitar solo on Beat It.

But, in the wise words of a once great man, "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change".

No message could have been any clearer. I don't know about you, but I'm gonna start with me.