BBC defends using Michael Jackson song on CBeebies despite parent backlash

BBC defends using Michael Jackson song on CBeebies despite parent backlash

Parents were left outraged after CBeebies used a Michael Jackson song during an educational children's television programme. Now, the BBC has defended its choice of music from the backlash, saying it was a cover version of the song, so was not directly linked to the Bad singer.

Magic Hands, a show that aims to teach little ones how to use British Sign Language, regularly uses popular tunes and pieces of poetry. But adult viewers were not pleased when an episode that aired on 18 March was set to Jackson 5's ABC given the recent abuse claims relaunched against the Thriller singer in documentary Leaving Neverland.

According to The Sun, mother-of-three Stephanie Mara-Cole said: "I was watching Magic Hands with my two-year-old son and was pretty shocked that the entire episode was based around a song sung by Michael Jackson.

"I watched Leaving Neverland and couldn't believe CBeebies hadn't pulled it from the schedule. Given all the vile things Michael Jackson has been accused of doing to children, it actually make my skin crawl to hear the song."

The episode of Magic Hands is available to watch on iPlayer. (BBC iPlayer)

Meanwhile, father Christopher Johnson urged the episode to be "pulled from the air indefinitely."

He added: "Did no one think that teaching small children a Jackson song might be slightly inappropriate?"

In response, a BBC spokesperson insisted that, because the specific rendition of the song used "was recorded and performed by the programme's own production," it is not directly linked to Jackson.

"[It's] for a programme specifically designed for deaf and hard of hearing children."

Michael Jackson
See Gallery
Michael Jackson
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 27: Madonna and Michael Jackson 1991 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
Quel cadeau Michael Jackson a-t-il offert à la princesse Diana pour ses fils ?
( JACKSON FIVE ) MICHAEL JACKSON with JERMAINE JACKSON , JACKIE JACKSON , MARLON JACKSON , TITO JACKSON and their father JOE JACKSON NAACP Image Awards 11-22-1971 (Photo by Phil Roach/Ipol/Globe Photos/Sipa USA)
A young Michael Jackson performs live on stage with the Jackson 5. 01/02/1975 Picture: Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment
Michael Jackson performs during his 'Victory' Tour on July 14, 1984 at the Texas Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy backstage at the 1989 American Music Awards in Los Angeles
Pop star Michael Jackson rocks Wembley Stadium, as he kicks off the British leg of his sell-out tour.
Leaving Neverland: First trailer drops for Michael Jackson documentary
Leaving Neverland: First trailer drops for Michael Jackson documentary
First trailer lands for controversial Michael Jackson abuse documentary 'Leaving Neverland'
The first trailer for controversial Michael Jackson documentary LeavingNeverland has been released
The film has proved controversial after alleging Jackson abused two children.
SANTA MARIA, UNITED STATES: Entertainer Michael Jackson arrives at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse for his child molestation trial in Santa Maria, California 12 May, 2005. Jackson's defense team is in a strong position after 'Home Alone' star Macaulay Culkin told jurors 11 May he was outraged by claims Jackson had fondled him. But the 24-year-old actor did admit on Wednesday that he had shared Jackson's bed when he visited the superstar's Neverland ranch in the early 1990s. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Reed Saxon (Photo credit should read REED SAXON/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Michael Jackson (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
US pop star and entertainer Michael Jackson performing during a concert in Paris on September 13, 1992
Pop star Michael Jackson (C) waves to fans next to his father Joe ( R), on leaving the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, in Santa Maria. Jurors in Jackson's child molestation trial heard Thursday fingerprint analysis of adult magazines found in his home was not completed until long after they were seized. Jackson is accused of molesting a boy at his Neverland ranch in 2003. (Photo by Kimberly White/Corbis via Getty Images)
Michael Jackson musical to premiere on Broadway next year
D'après les informations de Puremé, le documentaire "Leaving Neverland" sur Michael Jackson, sera diffusé dans la première de "Contre-enquête", sur M6.
Michael Jackson a évité de justesse la mort lors du terrible 11-Septembre 2001 après qu'une conversation tardive avec sa mère l'a empêché d'assister à une réunion au World Trade Center.
Secondo una cerchia ristretta di amici ed ex collaboratori, MJ sarebbe vivo e vegeto e potrebbe tornare da un momento all'altro con un tour in Uk.
D'après certains amis de Michael Jackson qui soutiennent une théorie du complot, le roi de la pop ne serait pas mort et s'apprêterait même à remonter sur scène.
The controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland now has a UKair date, despite a plea from the late singer's family for the two-part filmto not be shown

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 1984 photo, Michael Jackson performs with his brothers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, as part of their Victory Tour concert. The Michael Jackson estate has sent a letter to the U.K.'s Channel 4 warning that a documentary on men who accuse the singer of molesting them as boys violates the network's programming guidelines. Estate attorneys say in the letter released to The Associated Press on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, that "Leaving Neverland," includes no response from Jackson defenders as the channel's guidelines require. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac, File)

Michael Jackson performs during halftime of a 52-17 Dallas Cowboys win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII on January 31, 1993 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California.
Michael Jackson wax statue removed by Danish shopping centre following complaints
The Leaving Neverland programme is set to air in early March.
Michael Jackson documentary 'violates Channel 4 standards', singer's estate claims
What we know the Michael Jackson doc Leaving Neverland
U.S. pop singer Michael Jackson, pictured in this March 19, 2001 file photo at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York, will reunite with his brothers for an all-star concert to mark the superstar's 30 years as a solo artist, reported April 17, 2001. The concert, scheduled for September, will be Jackson's first performance with his siblings as a member of the "Jackson 5" since the 1980's. BK/MMR
Rare Michael Jackson interview with George Harrison restored by BBC
HBO Sets Date to Air 'Devastating' Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland'

A handful of Twitter users agreed with the Beeb's hard stance on the song choice. One even shared the news that the public service broadcaster had responded to the criticisms and wrote: "Why didn't the just tell them that they were being over sensitive idiots looking for something to complain about?"

Leaving Neverland – which aired on HBO in the US and Channel 4 in the UK – is made up of detailed, first-hand accounts from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, presenting evidence that Jackson groomed and sexually assaulted them in the 1990s.

The Jackson estate, as well as several individuals close to Jackson at the time, have consistently denied the claims.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

Read Full Story