Children’s Museum in Indianapolis removes Michael Jackson items from collection

A fedora and glove Jackson wore onstage and a Jackson poster are no longer on display at the museum

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 18 March 2019 10:30
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Trailer for new HBO documentary about Michael Jackson abuse victims Leaving Neverland

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has removed three items related to Michael Jackson from its exhibits, in light of the allegations made in the documentary Leaving Neverland.

Aired in two parts on Channel 4 in the UK, the documentary features lengthy testimony from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were children.

Jackson’s estate has denied all of the allegations in the documentary and accused Robson and Safechuck of being “opportunists” and “liars”. It is currently suing HBO, who produced the documentary, for $100m.

The Indianapolis Star reports that a fedora and glove Jackson wore onstage and a Jackson poster are no longer on display at the museum.

Chris Carron, the museum’s director of collections, said that he wants the items in the exhibits to tell stories of “people of high character”.

A statement from the museum reads: “Three Michael Jackson artifacts have been removed from two exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: his iconic fedora and white glove that we purchased several years ago at auction for our American Pop exhibit, and the signed Michael Jackson poster that was in The Power of Children exhibit.”

“As the world’s largest children’s museum, we are more sensitive than most 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.”

The statement also referenced Ryan White, a teenager from Indiana who became infected with HIV from a blood transfusion, and became an advocate for AIDS research and public education. He died in 1990 at the age of 18, with Jackson dedicating the song “Gone Too Soon” to his memory.

“The museum’s nationally-recognised The Power of Children exhibit directly addresses issues of discrimination and intolerance of all kinds. Michael Jackson pictures on display in The Power of Children exhibit remain because they are part of a direct re-creation of Ryan White’s room,” the statement continues.

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“Ryan’s family found Michael Jackson’s kindness to them to be an important part of Ryan’s story and the pictures of Michael displayed in that exhibit will always be an integral part of the Ryan White story. The poster was removed because it was not part of the original re-creation of Ryan’s room.”

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