LOS ANGELES—In response to a film featuring two men who say that the singer sexually abused them as children, the estate of Michael Jackson released a new documentary Friday alleging that the King of Pop gets a lifetime pass for Thriller. “The claim we lay out in our documentary is that whatever bad things that pop icon Michael Jackson has done, they should be swept under the rug for writing ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It,’” read a statement by the estate accompanying the debut of the Sony-produced documentary, Don’t Be Startin’ Somethin’ adding that they hoped the film would expose the truth that the artistic achievements of the 33-time platinum album should “more than cancel out” any indiscretions Jackson committed after its 1982 release. “Whether he drugged and molested children simply doesn’t matter when you consider how Jackson changed the game with those dance moves in the video for ‘Billie Jean,’ and these allegations simply ignore the complexity of the album’s assertive, dynamic musical production coupled with its introspective lyrics. We hope that our documentary will finally give fans of Jackson’s work the chance to reflect on how mind-blowingly innovative his music was and how whatever else he did just doesn’t matter.” The Jackson estate refused to respond to criticisms that the documentary was trying to whitewash the singer’s past by leaving out any mention of Thriller’s first single, “The Girl Is Mine.”
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