The Wrap reports that Wade Robson isn’t happy that MTV is keeping Michael Jackson’s name on its Video Vanguard Award at this year’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). Robson, along with James Safechuck, accused the King of Pop of sexually abusing him as a child in the controversial HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
“I don’t personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it’s an unfortunate choice,” Robson said.
The 2019 Video Vanguard Award will go to Missy Elliot. Past recipients include Jackson, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, P!nk, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Kanye West.
Per The Inquisitr, Robson claims that Jackson’s alleged abuse was enabled by the pop star’s employees and compared the purported cover-up to the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. The 36-year-old dancer and choreographer claims that one of Jackson’s employees was responsible for organizing the meetings he had with Jackson as a child. He claims she was “the gatekeeper” and was “privy to all of his patterns with children.”
Yahoo News reports that the reason Jackson’s employees failed to report and prevent the abuse was that Jackson was “too powerful to be controlled.” He added that “any sensible adult” would have been able to prevent the abuse.
Why does MTV still name its Vanguard Award at the VMAs after Michael Jackson? https://t.co/HJqMYikOR9— Thom Geier (@thomgeier) August 12, 2019
Despite the accusations, some continue to honor Jackson’s legacy, including MTV and devoted fans.
While the controversy surrounding Leaving Neverland has caused a backlash against those involved, it has received support from many. It recently received five Emmy nominations: outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program, outstanding sound mixing for a nonfiction program, outstanding directing for a documentary/nonfiction program, and outstanding sound editing for a nonfiction program.
In an interview with IndieWire, Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed revealed he believes that people shouldn’t be hard on Robson and Safechuck’s mothers.
“People are critical of the mothers,” he said. “The most immediate reaction is ‘What the heck were they thinking? How could any mother allow their child even one night in the bed of any stranger?’”
Reed suggests that the mothers, too, were innocent, pointing to the “lure” of wanting Jackson to like them and the potential opportunity Jackson could provide for their children. He added that he doesn’t believe the mothers believed that anything sexual was taking place between Jackson and their children.