Will.i.Am compares a ban on Michael Jackson's music to the slave trade and the Holocaust
Black Eyed Peas band member Will.i.Am is defending the right to play music from Michael Jackson's widely-beloved back catalogue by comparing a ban on the late King of Pop's songs to the Holocaust and the slave trade.
According to the Mirror, the 44-year-old rapper shared his thoughts on the recent allegations which have come to light in the explosive two-part documentary Leaving Neverland.
James Safechuck, one of the two accusers featured in the documentary, claimed that Jackson bought him jewellery in exchange for sexual acts. This seems to be supported by this unearthed footage of a badly-disguised Jackson going jewellery shopping with a young boy:
Will.i.Am referred to the allegations as being part of a "smear campaign" fuelled by "money".
"I don’t know what to trust or who to believe," The Voice UK judge said. "Who is behind it or what? Obviously, it’s money. All I know is it’s a smear campaign. If he did it, then it’s sad and inhumane."
"But if he didn’t, then what is happening is sad and inhumane," he added.
Will.i.Am then went on to compare a potential ban on Michael Jackson songs to the horrific crimes committed in the Holocaust and the slave trade.
Speaking at Elstree Studios ahead of The Voice semi-final, he claimed "It is double standards. You’re not talking about banning the company that made the chemicals to kill all the Jews."
"We live in a very, very, very, very hypocritical, double-standard, fake society," he continued. "I can name a thousand other products that we still buy, still use, that are owned by folks that have done the most horrendous things to people, millions of them, and we don't take their products from the market."
This is what Jackson's family had to say about the damning Leaving Neverland documentary:
He then referenced the German firm Bayer which he said, "made the chemicals to kill all the Jews."
"You're not talking about real s**t and yet you want to flex on a song? Bayer is really responsible for chemicals that killed millions of people but they're headache medicine now. Are you going to ridicule them for their past? Are there reparations that need to be done for that?"
"Imagine every country that ever had slaves and people said, 'never travel to those countries because of things they’ve done in the past'."
While the 44-year-old - who was a friend of the Thriller hitmaker - admits that he was torn about what to believe when the latest allegations first emerged, he still insists "the Michael Jackson I loved I will always love."
"The person I met was the kindest and most genuine and big-hearted person, who wouldn’t hurt a fly."