- 55% of adults said they had an unfavorable opinion of Michael Jackson after the “Leaving Neverland” documentary.
- 61% of avid music fans have not stopped listening to Jackson’s music in the wake of allegations, and 54% don’t think they should.
The Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey of 1,952 U.S. adults split the sample so that one group was shown pictures of several artists who have faced allegations of some form of sexual misconduct, and one group was shown only the artists’ names. When given just the artist’s name, 46 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Michael Jackson, compared to 43 percent who found him unfavorable, while 13 percent had a favorable opinion of Kelly and 63 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Eleven percent had a favorable opinion of Ryan Adams, while 76 did not know or had no opinion of the Grammy-nominated artist.
The overall poll’s margin of error is 2 percentage points,
while the margin of error for each sample was roughly 3 points.
Ahead of the release of the documentary, attorney Howard Weitzman, who represents Jackson’s estate, said in a letter to HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler that the estate was never contacted and that “any halfway skilled filmmaker could make a ‘documentary’ telling any outrageous story about a dead man if they can just find two people willing to tell that story and then not challenge those two at all.”
The March 6-8 poll also found that after watching a video of Kelly’s interview with Gayle King on CBS following Kelly’s indictment on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims — three of whom were reportedly minors at the time — 14 percent had a favorable opinion of Kelly.
Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, denied the allegations that he sexually and physically abused women, saying in the interview that he had “absolutely not” broken any laws regarding women and telling King: “I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me.”