ADVERTS claiming Michael Jackson is “innocent” have been banned from the side of London buses after a public outcry.
The posters were crowdfunded by Jacko supporters in response to a recently aired documentary on the singer that featured explosive allegations of sexual abuse against the late musician.
They feature a picture of Jackson with the word “innocent” across his mouth and the statement: “Facts don’t lie. People do” – as well as a link to the website mjinnocent.com.
The Survivors Trust said the message, which appeared on buses as well as at bus stops, could discourage victims of sexual assault from coming forward.
In a statement to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, TfL 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.”
They [the adverts] have been rejected due to the public sensitivity and concern around their content
Transport for London
Twitter users had previously hit out at the Labour mayor and Transport For London for allowing the posters, with some accusing him of having double standards.
One wrote: “Sadiq Khan reacting to the Michael Jackson Innocent ads on London Transport: ‘Not possible for me as Mayor to go through every advert.’
“Didn’t stop him banning Beach Body Ready did it?”
Another tweeted: “@SadiqKhan victim blaming ads supporting Michael Jackson on London buses. Really?”
While a third added: “When it comes down to Michael Jackson, he’ll quite happily allow adverts calling abuse victims LIARS. This is not okay.”
And another posted sarcastically: “Great way to discredit victims of sexual abuse @tfl @SadiqKhan”.
Fans used crowdfunding websites to get cash for the Jackson adverts in response to the Leaving Neverland documentary, with over £14,000 raised so far.
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The ads first appeared on February 25 and were due to stay on London buses until March 24 before today’s decision.
A Mayor of London spokesperson said: “The Mayor did not approve this campaign. This was a decision made by TfL in line with their advertising policy.
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