​#MJinnocent Ads Appear On London Buses In Protest Against Leaving Neverland Doc

While most of the time we find ourselves chatting idly in the office about last night's Gogglebox or a right royal screw-up on The Great British Bake Off, this week we've had something much more gripping to lead conversation with.

We're talking, of course, about Dan Reed's ambitious two-part Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which follows the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim to have been sexually abused by the late singer as children.

Four hours of uncomfortable but nonetheless extremely interesting viewing later, pretty much everyone had settled on their opinion.

But amid all the chatter in offices across the world, out on the streets adverts have started to appear proclaiming Michael Jackson's innocence - including on London buses in the UK - as part of an ongoing #MJInnocent campaign.

The giant ads feature Jackson's face, his mouth covered up with the word 'innocent' in capital letters.

Along with the hashtag #MJInnocent, there is also a large slogan that reads: "Facts don't lie. People Do."

The #MJInnocent hashtag refers to a website set up to defend the pop star from the many allegations in the documentary.

The website reads: "Michael Jackson: Singer, Dancer, Humanitarian... Yes. But a Paedophile? Wade Robson and James Safechuck would have you believe he was. But what is the truth? Before you condemn him, please take a few moments to understand some of the true facts behind the stories you may have heard."

In the documentary, both Robson, Safechuck and their families make various claims about Jackson.

Safechuck, for instance, claims a 29-year-old Jackson taught him to masturbate in Paris when he was only 10. He claimed they went on to have sex 'hundreds' of times and that they even staged a fake wedding together.

Jackson's estate has dismissed Leaving Neverland as 'yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson'.

"This so called 'documentary' is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations," the estate said in a statement.

However, many viewers have suggested the condemnation and disregard of Safechuck and Robson's testimonies highlights just why victims of sexual abuse often find it difficult to come forward.

One person tweeted: "Following the hashtag for this is pretty awful with the victim blaming and lack of understanding of how abusers groom the victims and their families.

"Actually, scratch awful. Horrific. One look at it explains all you need to get a small insight into why so many people don't/can't talk about child sexual abuse."

Featured Image Credit: @Habeeb_Akande/Twitter

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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