Since the scathing documentary Leaving Neverland aired, statues of Michael Jackson and memorabilia from his life have been removed from many places of public viewing across the nation. The documentary was aired by HBO and follows the story of two men, Wade Robson and James ‘Jimmy’ Safechuck. These men claim they were groomed and sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children.
Now in their 30s, they want to open the world’s eyes to the real identity of the “King of Pop.” While Jackson’s family has denied all of these accusations, Jackson’s reputation has certainly been altered in the eyes of many. Not wanting to be involved with the controversy, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum has removed some of their Michael Jackson memorabilia, according to Fox News.
Jackson was originally from Gary, Indiana, and was featured in two separate exhibits at the Indianapolis museum. A fedora and glove once owned by the singer, as well as a poster of him were all removed from pubic display in wake of the new allegations against Jackson.
— billboard (@billboard) March 16, 2019
Chris Carron, the museum’s director of collections, spoke out about their decision to remove the historical pieces. He stated that the museum had come to this choice as a team after much consideration.
“We look at our audiences; we look at the messages we’re trying to tell as an institution. What sort of stories do we want to tell in the exhibit? We’re looking for good examples of how to make an impact on the world. That’s really where our focus lies.”
While some of the memorabilia was taken away, there is still some mention of Jackson at the museum. He will continue to be featured in an exhibit about Indiana native Ryan White. White has served as a poster child for HIV and AIDS for years after being forced to leave school after being diagnosed with the disease.
At the time that White developed AIDS in the 1980s, there was still little information known about the disease. He was ostracized and shunned by the public. Before he died in 1990 at 18-years-old, he connected with Jackson. The singer also attended his funeral along with other celebrities.
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum recreated White’s childhood room as part of this featured exhibit. Because of the positive role that Jackson played in White’s life, the pictures of Jackson in the exhibit will remain.
“Ryan’s family found Michael Jackson’s kindness to them to be an important part of Ryan’s story and the pictures of Michael displayed in that exhibit will always be an integral part of the Ryan White story,” Carron stated.