#MichaelJacksonVindicated trends as Kanye West slams documentary: 'Can't let them tear down our heroes'
He possibly referred to 'Leaving Neverland' on the 15th anniversary of Jackson's acquittal on child sex abuse charges
Kanye West defended Michael Jackson in a new interview and insisted that "companies" and "documentaries" should not be given a free rein to "tear down our heroes."
Speaking to Pharrell Williams for i-D Magazine, the 43-year-old rapper, who is now one of the best-selling music artists of all-time, seemingly referred to British filmmaker Dan Reed's controversial 2019 documentary film, 'Leaving Neverland.'
'Leaving Neverland' had premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019 and focused on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who alleged that they had been sexually abused by Jackson while they were still children.
While the film won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Non-fiction Special, it received mixed reviews from viewers and was branded by the singer's estate as a "tabloid character assassination."
West was firmly in the latter category, telling Williams, "We should have something that says we can’t allow any company to tear down our heroes. Not on 'The Shade Room,' not on social media, and especially not in documentaries."
The 'Stronger' hitmaker went on to compare Jackson's treatment in the media to that of his own. "I’m like every time the media isn’t happy with me it’s like, 'Here they go. Here they go. They’re gonna come and Wacko Jacko me.’ Which in some ways, they’ve tried to do."
West went on to compare Jackson to Williams and said both artists had "tore down the walls and the doors" in music and culture.
"It felt like you [Williams] really tore down the walls and the doors much like Michael Jackson did a generation before," the rapper explained. "In a way, he’s very similar to Michael Jackson, in the ways where Michael Jackson was doing covert, super gangsta stuff, like he’d just pop the needles off."
"He kissed Elvis Presley’s daughter on MTV," he continued. "Black culture used to be... we used to be fronting all night, but Michael was doing stuff that was different to what we were programmed to understand as being what we should do."
West's comments defending Jackson comes as the hashtag #MichaelJacksonVindicated trended on Twitter and other social media platforms on what was the 15th anniversary of the King of Pop's acquittal from child sex abuse charges.
Jackson had been charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of intoxicating a minor with alcoholic drinks in December 2003 following the airing of 'Living with Michael Jackson,' where he was shown holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with a 12-year-old boy. He was also quoted saying he saw nothing wrong with having sleepovers with minors and sharing his bed and bedroom with various people.
The 'People vs Jackson' trial began in January 2005 and lasted until May. If convicted, he faced up to 20 years in prison but he was acquitted on all counts on June 13.
Jackson had also been accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 by a 13-year-old Jordan Chandler, who alleged he and the singer engaged in kissing, masturbation, and oral sex. The case was eventually settled outside court for $25 million and Jackson was never criminally charged.