Michael Jackson Tribute Would 'Burn Costumes If There Was Evidence' Singer Was A Paedophile
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Singer Michael Jackson has been all over the news this week, as allegations of sexual abuse were made against him in the two-part documentary Leaving Neverland.
Many people took to social media to express their disgust and horror, while others have leapt to the defence of the singer, with MJinnocent ads appearing on the side of London buses.
But while the documentary has provided a subject for workplace debate for most of us, the implications are potentially much more serious for a Michael Jackson tribute act.
Robin Parsons, from Essex, UK, has been working as a full-time tribute act - Forever Jackson - for more than 10 years, performing around 150 shows per year. However, he says he would burn all of his costumes tomorrow 'if there was any piece of evidence' that Jackson was a paedophile.
Since Monday, four of the 39-year-old performer's shows have been cancelled, but he still has around 130 shows lined up for this year, including this weekend.
Parsons believes the minimal impact on his livelihood is largely due to people becoming 'more wise' to fake news.
Speaking to LADbible, he said: "It's not a huge apocalyptic effect, as some people might have expected. A big reason is that we've lived in a world in recent years where fake news has had such a major impact on our lives and what we perceive, and I think people are starting to get a little more wise to it.
"I don't want to portray people coming out as child abuse victims as something we should just turn our noses up at - it is a very, very serious allegation. But for that reason, surely then we should look at all the facts and the evidence that surrounds the allegations before we make up our minds."
Asked if he thought the documentary was fake news, he said: "A bit. In all honesty, I think the key thing it's doing is using the #MeToo movement as a kind of springboard to help get it aired, to make it feel genuine.
"We're currently in a world where a very important movement has uncovered so many disgusting things that have happened, but it has now got to a stage where it's as though we should just believe what everybody says without checking the facts."
Parsons has not yet watched the documentary but told LADbible that, having assessed the evidence, it would be unlikely to change his view.
He said: "I don't feel it's going to change my opinion in this precise moment in time.
"That's not coming from somebody who's a die-hard fan, that's coming from somebody as a neutral going in, who's looked at all of the evidence - and there is a huge body of it, factual evidence, not just claims.
"These guys both had four court cases thrown out prior to this. They've been trying to pitch this story since 2014. We're ignoring all the evidence and taking their claims at face value.
"I was speaking on the radio yesterday about it, and somebody said, 'You haven't looked in their eyes.' Well, I've also watched a lot of Hollywood movies where actors have been extremely convincing. At the end of the day, Christian Bale once said he was Batman, but I don't believe he was Batman."
Despite successfully forging a career himself as Michael Jackson tribute act over the course of a decade, Parsons said he would pack it all in tomorrow if there was a 'shred of evidence' Jackson was a paedophile.
He said: "I want to really state as well, I have two young children and for me, if there was any piece of evidence, if there was anything that undeniably convicted and said Michael Jackson was a paedophile, I would burn my costumes tomorrow.
"I would throw them away and I would stop doing this. I want nothing to do with anybody or anything that is of that nature or is absolutely a criminal.
"But there is nothing out there, there is no shred of evidence. Yet, there is so much factual evidence debunking what's being said in the documentary."
Meanwhile, a Madame Tussauds spokesman told LADbible it would regularly monitor its Michael Jackson waxwork figure.
He said: "The figures on display at Madame Tussauds reflect profiles that have had an impact on popular culture and that visitors expect to see. Michael Jackson has been and is currently a feature of Madame Tussauds attractions around the world.
"We regularly monitor our choice of figures on display based on external events and visitor feedback."