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Michael Jackson: TfL to remove ads proclaiming his innocence

FANS STAND BY MICHAEL: Supporters staged a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4 earlier this month

BUS ADVERTS that proclaim that Michael Jackson is innocent are to be removed by Transport for London (TfL).

The adverts, which have been displayed on the outsides of double-decker buses in the capital, caused outrage among some sexual abuse survivor groups.

The posters, which state: “Facts don’t lie. People do” and feature Jackson’s face with the word innocent across his mouth, were installed after the airing of Leaving Neverland.

The documentary explores allegations of child sexual abuse against the singer by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

It is understood that the posters were funded by Jackson’s fans via a crowdfunding campaign.

TfL told The Voice that the adverts are starting to be removed and will be down within the next week.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have reviewed our position and will be removing these advertisements. They have been rejected due to the public sensitivity and concern around their content.”

TfL did not respond to whether the decision to allow the adverts to be displayed initially was a mistake.

A debate over the adverts is ongoing. Some people have supported TfL’s decision to remove them and argue they should never have been allowed to go up in the first place, while others have criticised them

“100% revolted to see that TfL have seen fit to take money four full bus ads proclaiming the innocence of Michael Jackson and to give a voice to faceless victim-bashing trolls. A bus isn't the forum and could act as a trigger for victims of child abuse. Shame on TfL,” one critic, Jeffrey Brady, tweeted.

Brady also shared TfL’s response to his complaint about the adverts.

The correspondence states that the adverts were due to run until March 24 and that the campaign was compliant with TfL’s advertising policy.

Rape Crisis South London, an organisation that provides support for survivors of sexual assault, said it had to mute its Twitter notifications following a flood of responses about the advertising campaign.

The Survivors Trust, a national umbrella agency supporting those who have experienced sexual violence, said: “After hearing reports of the recent advertising campaign on London buses, we are very pleased to hear that TfL London has responded with the decision to remove them.”

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