Windsor music industry responds to Michael Jackson movie, allegations

Michael Jackson fans are wrestling with Jackson's legacy after the Leaving Neverland documentary portrayed years of allegations of child sexual abuse.

Some record shops and radio stations have pulled the pop star's music

Paul Russel, owner of Dead Parrot Records (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)

Michael Jackson fans are wrestling with Jackson's legacy after the Leaving Neverland documentary portrayed years of allegations of child sexual abuse.

Record businesses used to "gear up" for Michael Jackson before he became more and more of a recluse. Now a small industry in Windsor, local record shop owners and musicians are reflecting on the King of Pop's legacy.

"It's a sad case, because he left us some very good music," said Paul Russell, who owns Dead Parrot Records in Windsor. Russell said it's a "choice," for listeners, putting music against Jackson's personal life.

"We could see it was coming," said Russell. "And I don't think this will be the end of it."

Windsor music industry responds to Michael Jackson allegations 2:45

Radio stations, television shows and some record shops have pulled Jackson's music. 

Russell said Jackson's history of abuse has been "well-documented," but he'll keep selling records if they come into his secondhand shop.

Court of public opinion

Billy Myskow is a musician who thinks the allegations have been a "veil" hanging over Michael Jackson's career for a long time.

Billy Myskow said some of the allegations against famous people have a 'witch hunt' kind of feel. (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)

"I think the thing, a lot of people are asking themselves, why are so many celebrities seemingly in the spotlight for these negative accusations."

Myskow's asking why no one came forward on this magnitude before the singer died almost ten years ago.

"People are being held accountable in the court of public opinion instead of in the proper places in the legal justice system," said Myskow, adding that he's seen the same kind of thing in sports as well. "It has a witch hunt kind of feel."

Myskow said as a musician, the allegations cloud his opinion of Jackson.

"It's hard to separate art and the person. I think it tarnishes it for everyone."

People are going to take a stance

Luc Michaud owns Highland Studios, which is a recording studio and agency in Windsor. He's conflicted about the allegations — and about how to treat Jackson's music now.

"We may never actually know [what happened]," said Michaud, adding that the record shops and radio stations are "smart" to pull the music. 

Luc Michaud, owner of Highland Studios. (Arms Bumanlag/CBC)

Michaud said people will think twice when it comes to Jackson now.

"It's not just about his music," said Michaud. "It would be interesting to know what was going on in that era ... to what extent these things were happening."

According to Michaud, the body of work Jackson put out is "incredible," and he wonders what will happen to the other people on his records.

"People are going to take a stance either way, but the music itself is great."

With files from Arms Bumanlag


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