The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has removed three Michael Jackson exhibits from display in the wake of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
A fedora and glove, both worn by Jackson onstage, were removed from public view, as was a signed Michael Jackson poster. Another item, a signed Michael Jackson poster that was on display in The Power of Children exhibit, has also been removed – though some photos of Jackson in that exhibit still remain. They are part of a tribute to Ryan White, a boy who died in 1990 of complications related to AIDS. Before his death, Jackson had met White, later dedicating his song, “Gone Too Soon,” to his memory.
Jackson’s family is from Gary, Indiana, about two-and-a-half hours north of Indianapolis, on the Lake Michigan shore.
Leslie Olsen, the museum’s public relations manager, said in a statement: “As the world’s largest children’s museum, we are very sensitive to our audience. 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.”
Other entities have distanced themselves from Jackson following the allegations broadcast in Leaving Neverland. Immediately after the documentary premiered, producers of The Simpsons revealed they would no longer air, sell or distribute the 1991 episode that featured Jackson’s voice. Last week, French fashion giant Louis Vuitton announced it was removing planned Michael Jackson-inspired designs from their 2019 fall menswear collection. And Canadian radio stations removed Jackson’s songs from their rotation.
Leaving Neverland chronicles allegations from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim Jackson befriended them when they were children and that their relationships quickly turned sexual.