MediaWorks radio stations drop Michael Jackson's music

The music of Michael Jackson will no longer be played on MediaWorks radio stations, according to Group Content Director Leon Wratt.

Wratt spoke to Magic Talk's Peter Williams on Wednesday morning, confirming that the King of Pop would no longer feature on the playlists of brands like The Breeze and More FM.

"We haven't been playing MJ music for a little while now," Wratt said.

The statement follows the US release of the documentary Leaving Neverland, which examines the stories of two men who allege Jackson molested them as children.

"Obviously, the allegations have been around for a long time," Wratt said.

"He's always been one of those characters that people either love or hate."

Wratt said that all of MediaWorks' stations regularly research the reaction to songs in their playlists, and are governed by audience feedback.  

"While some people still like Michael Jackson, there's a lot of people out there who don't," he said.

"We [MediaWorks] aren't deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of paedophilia, we're just making sure our radio stations are going to play the music people want to hear."

According to Stuff, a representative for NZME confirmed their radio brands had also dropped Jackson's music.

"NZME station playlists change from week to week, and right now Michael Jackson does not feature on them."

In January, The Edge radio station announced they'd stop playing Chris Brown's music, after the hip-hop artist faced rape allegations. The pop music station said questions from listeners about why it continued to play his music prompted the move.

Television counterpart The Edge TV also stopped playing Brown's music videos.

Music streaming service Spotify has also recently removed controversial rappers R Kelly and XXXTentacion from its playlists. Their music can still be searched, but is no longer actively promoted.