Posters proclaiming the innocence of Michael Jackson are to be removed from public transport in London.
The posters, plastered on London buses, stated “Facts don’t lie. People do.” alongside an image of the controversial pop singer with the word “Innocent” across his mouth.
Transport for London (TfL) announced that it will be taking the posters down for “public sensitivity” reasons, having initially signed off the campaign.
The posters, which were displayed exclusively on London buses, were approved by the TfL vetting process for advertising campaigns.
Jackson’s legacy has been under renewed scrutiny following the documentary Leaving Neverland, which brought to light fresh allegations of child sexual abuse against the late star.
The MJ Innocent campaign is behind the posters, which were paid for in response to the documentary and the claims of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that they were sexually abused by their one-time idol.
The campaign website claims the group supports victims, but adds: “We believe the accusations levelled against Michael Jackson are false.”
Posters were financed through a crowdfunding campaign, which branded Leaving Neverland a “one-sided, sensationalist unreality TV show”. The campaign is part of a push by Jackson’s nephew Taj to rebut the documentary.
The pride of seeing my words on a London bus, next to my uncle Michael's image.February 27, 2019
A TfL spokeswoman said: “We have reviewed our position and will be removing these advertisements. They have been rejected due to the public sensitivity and concern around their content.”
In a statement made on Twitter, the Survivors Trust welcomed the move, saying: “After hearing reports of the recent advertising campaign on London buses, we are very pleased to hear that TFL London has responded with the decision to remove them.”
The posters were assessed by the TfL advertising agencies, and passed up to TfL for approval. The posters were given the green light in accordance with Committee of Advertising Practice guidelines.”
The posters will be removed within around a week.
- Press Association