Plus, and I’m about to go to sleep so I won’t be around for the messages I get about this, Michael Jackson 100% did what he was accused of doing. I wish it wasn’t so, because he’s one of the most brilliant musical artists of all time without question or doubt and because he had some smart shit to say on race issues, but the whole thing about the kids recanting was made up for a chain e-mail and the FBI released like twenty-five years of evidence after he died (including vintage child porn, child porn filmed at Neverland Ranch, investigations dating back to 1985–eight years before the first public allegations, witness statements, former friends and employees saying he was obsessed with child porn, and so on). And he spent $35 million to keep twenty-four victims from speaking to the media.
Like, he did it. It doesn’t change the fact that he made Thriller, just like Roman Polanski still made Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, and Cosby made The Cosby Show and A Different World. Bad people can, and frequently do, make good art. How that colors your experience of that art is completely personal, but loving that art doesn’t change what its creators did.
Michael Jackson’s influence on music (in and out of his own genre) and culture at large can’t be denied or overstated, but he was still guilty as hell.