The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has pulled a Michael Jackson-themed laser show as a result of resurfaced child-molestation allegations against the late musician detailed in a recently aired HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland.
A post on the museum's website describing the event, which was scheduled for Friday, March 8, says the event has been canceled "out of our desire to be sensitive to the nature of the content presented" in Leaving Neverland.
During the latter part of his career, Jackson faced several allegations that he sexually abused young boys. Police launched a criminal investigation, leading to a trial that turned into a media spectacle. Ultimately, a jury found Jackson not guilty in 2005.
Leaving Neverland, which debuted Sunday, has sparked new interest in the accusations. In the film, Wade Robson and James Safechuck share devastatingly graphic details of abuse they say began when they were young boys and went on for years. While the singer's reputation bounced back from similar allegations in the past, the #MeToo era has led to more serious consequences for powerful and popular cultural figures. Jackson died in 2009.
OMSI issued an apology on its website to anyone who may have felt discomfort by the show:
“One of our goals is to be an inclusive place where people feel safe to learn, play and grow. Due to the controversial nature of the documentary and out of respect for those who may have personal experiences relative to the content of the documentary, we feel it is not appropriate to play this show.”
The laser program will now feature music by AC/DC.