Michael Jackson’s legacy 10 years after his death

By Ignacio Calderon, Staff Photographer

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Those attending a recent tribute meant to honor Michael Jackson had mixed feelings following the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, which alleged Jackson had sexually abused children.

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience tribute band performed March 14 at House of Blues Chicago, 329 N. Dearborn St.

The documentary, released by HBO in January, focused on Wade Robson and James Safechuck and their alleged sexual abuse by the pop star.

Michael Jackson was accused of sexual molestation of a 13-year-old in 1993, which ended with an out-of-court settlement of $23 million given to the family of the child, according to a Jan. 31 New York Times article. Other accusations have since cropped up, and people have debated their veracity.

Some of the event’s attendees, such as Lynwood resident Marvin Jackson, continue to believe Michael Jackson was not guilty of abusing children, two months after the documentary was released.

“People are still emulating him from an artistic standpoint,” Marvin Jackson said. “The documentary is nothing but a money grab.”

However, not everyone felt the same way.

Patrick Shelton watched “Leaving Neverland” after buying his tickets to the event. He felt conflicted after learning about Robson’s and Safechuck’s allegations, saying Michael Jackson “made great music but [was] also a monster.”

Shelton also believes society has been evolving over the last few years. According to him, the Me Too movement has created more room for the truth, giving women and children a voice.

“The guys on the documentary could actually say what they had to say, and people would actually take them seriously,” Shelton said.

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