Michael Jackson has been a controversial figure in popular culture the last few months. In HBO’s harrowing documentary Leaving Neverland, two victims, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, came forward and detailed the decades of trauma they suffered after spending time with Jackson in their childhoods. Despite the sexual abuse allegations drawn to light by the documentary, Jackson has remained an influential figure in music history as people have made efforts to protect his legacy.
As recently as last month, MTV was reportedly considering taking Jackson’s name off the Video Vanguard Award. The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award has been awarded every year for several decades (the award was established in 1984, but took Jackson’s name in 1991). This year’s recipient, Missy Elliott, is the first female rapper to receive the award. And from the looks of it, the award will come with Jackson’s name still attached.
As reported by Billboard, Robson recently spoke to The Wrap expressing his thoughts on MTV’s decision to keep the award’s name. “I don’t personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it’s an unfortunate choice,” Robson said.
The MTV Video Music Awards will air on Monday, August 26.