×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Michael Jackson’s Music Has Not Been Banned by the BBC

UPDATED: Contrary to a report that apparently originated with British publication The Times, a rep for the BBC tells Variety that the network, and specifically BBC2 Radio, has not banned or dropped Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of the blockbuster documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which premiered on HBO Sunday night and will begin airing on Britain’s Channel 4 on Wednesday.

“The BBC does not ban artists,” the rep said. “We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind,” she said, adding that BBC2’s playlists focus on new artists and thus music from Jackson, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2009, does not apply (the most recent posthumous album was released in 2014).

Another BBC rep noted, “Michael Jackson was just played on one of our stations today.”

The Times reported Sunday that the late singer’s music had been “quietly dropped” from the station in advance of the documentary’s airing.

In the U.S., the second-largest radio network, Cumulus, deferred any such decision to individual stations. “Cumulus Media is never in favor of censorship,” the rep said. “This is a local market decision where the company is allowing local Program Directors to make the right decision regarding airplay for their communities.” A rep for iHeartRadio, the country’s largest radio network, declined Variety‘s request for comment; the same is true of Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest streaming services in the U.S.

The lack of comment is possibly related in part to the fierce wave of criticism Spotify received when it instituted a policy against “hateful conduct” by artists last year, in which artists would be banned from its official playlists. That policy was directed at R. Kelly and XXXTentacion — neither of whom had been convicted of any crimes at the time — before the streaming service quickly pulled back from the policy, although Kelly’s music does not appear to have returned to official Spotify playlists.

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content