Drake has allegedly removed his collaboration with Michael Jackson from his tour setlist following sexual assault allegations against the late singer and songwriter that surfaced following the HBO premiere of the documentary Leaving Neverland.
TMZ reported that the singer removed the song "Don't Matter to Me" featured on his hit album Scorpion from the setlist of his tour of the United Kingdom. The track featured vocals from Jackson. Prior to the documentary's airdate, Drake used the song throughout the United States leg of his wildly successful tour.
The track was a highlight of Scorpion, which was released in June 2018. Bustle reported that the tune was a previously unreleased track by Jackson, to which Drake rapped alongside the iconic singer. Jackson's reputation has been further tarnished following allegations of sexual misconduct toward young boys that was depicted in the documentary.
Jackson's long legacy in the music industry continues to come under fire. He was found not guilty of allegations of sexual misconduct against a child in 1993. The allegations against Jackson, reported NPR, were deemed serious enough to go to trial. However, since the primary witness refused to testify and another young man, Wade Robson, defended the singer in court, Jackson was found not guilty on all charges.Robson and James Safechuck would later appear in Leaving Neverland and detail graphic episodes of abuse at the hands of Jackson, whom they believed was their friend and loved them. Robson and Safechuck's abuse allegedly began at the ages of 7- and 10-years-old. NPR reported that after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in late January, the two-part, four-hour documentary aired on HBO beginning March 3.The Jackson estate denies all wrongdoing by Jackson against Robson and Safechuck. NPR released a statement by the family, who is bringing a suit for over $100 million against HBO for airing the special.
"In producing this fictional work," the suit says, per NPR, "HBO ignored its contractual obligations to Michael and his companies by disparaging both him and the 'Dangerous World Tour' that HBO had previously profited from immensely."
It should be noted that both Robson and Safechuck both filed suits against Jackson's two companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, but both were dismissed because the companies could not be found liable for the claims made against Jackson by the men. Robson had also filed another suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court but that was dismissed by a judge who claimed that the Emmy-Award winning choreographer waited too long to file his claim.
Robson said during the documentary that he was afraid to come forward during the initial 1993 suit against the singer. Drake's camp has not formally commented as yet on the exclusion of the song from the tour's current setlist.