Michael Jackson’s popularity endures, even after new scandal

SANTA MARIA, CA - JUNE 13: Michael Jackson prepares to enter the Santa Barbara County Superior Court to hear the verdict read in his child molestation case June 13, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. After seven days of deliberation the jury has reached a not guilty verdict on all 10 counts in the trial against Michael Jackson. Jackson was charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. He pleaded innocent.

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson was depicted as a child molester in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” earlier this year, but the negative publicity hasn’t greatly diminished the King of Pop’s image.

As Tuesday’s 10th anniversary of Jackson’s death approaches, experts say his music legacy is still going strong despite the documentary’s detailed abuse allegations.

Billboard senior editor Gail Mitchell says she interviewed around 30 music executives who believe Jackson’s legacy will withstand the controversy.

Signs of any broad backlash against Jackson are few.

The superstar’s music was taken off some radio stations, but is still being played in commercials and his memorabilia is still selling.

Jackson’s album and theatrical video of “Thriller” remains in the National Recording Registry, and a pair of museums say they’re not removing images or artifacts of him.

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