The explosive two-part Leaving Neverland has cast a grim cloud over the legacy of Michael Jackson. Amid news that his music is being banned from radio stations across Europe, now comes word that the world’s largest children’s museum is removing three of his artifacts from display. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis made the move following allegations of child sex abuse in the HBO documentary.
Among the items no longer available for public consumption are one of Jackson’s iconic sequined glove and fedora, both purchased at auction in 2017, as well as an autographed Jackson poster, according to Rolling Stone.
All the items were on display until this month, when curators decided to pull them following the premiere of Leaving Neverland, the Indianapolis Star reports.
“When we put together exhibitions, we look at the objects and their association with high-profile people. Obviously, we want to put stories in front of our visitors (showing) people of high character,” the museum’s director of collections Chris Carron told the newspaper.
“When you learn new stories or you look at something historical in a different way, then sometimes we re-evaluate whether that’s appropriate to be (on display).”
The museum, located two hours away from the Jackson family’s hometown of Gary, Indiana, is keeping photos of the late King of Pop in an exhibit honoring AIDS victim Ryan White, who died in 1990. Jackson visited the museum that same year, around the time he befriended the Indianapolis teenager. White was diagnosed with HIV following a blood transfusion. When he died, Jackson attended the funeral.
“We are very sensitive to our audience,” said The Power of Children exhibit spokeswoman Leslie Olsen in a statement. “In an excess of caution, and in response to the controversy over the HBO film called ‘Leaving Neverland,’ which directly involved allegations of abuse against children, we removed those objects while we carefully consider the situation more fully.”
Part of the fallout from Leaving Neverland is The Simpsons pulling the episode featuring a Jackson-voiced character.
“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” the animated show’s longtime producer James L. Brooks said. “The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior.”