Children’s Museum of Indianapolis removes Michael Jackson items from display

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SANTA MARIA, CA – APRIL 27: Michael Jackson passes through security as he arrives for his child molestation trial at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse April 27, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. (Photo by Eric Neitze-PoolGetty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis removed three Michael Jackson items from exhibits this month, joining a handful of organizations that have reassessed connections to the late singer following HBO’s airing of documentary film “Leaving Neverland.”

The two-part film, which premiered March 3-4, focuses on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two adult men who allege Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

“When we put together exhibitions, we look at the objects and their association with high-profile people,” said Chris Carron, the museum’s director of collections. “Obviously, we want to put stories in front of our visitors (showing) people of high character.”

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Leslie Olsen, a manager of public relations at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, released this statement.

“As the world’s largest children’s museum, we are very sensitive to our audience. In an excess of caution, and in response to the controversy over the HBO film called “Leaving Neverland”, which directly involved allegations of abuse against children, we removed those objects while we carefully consider the situation more fully.

The museum’s nationally-recognized The Power of Children exhibit directly addresses issues of discrimination and intolerance of all kinds. Several Michael Jackson pictures on display in The Power of Children exhibit remain because they are part of a direct re-creation of Ryan White’s room. Ryan’s family found Michael Jackson’s kindness to them to be an important part of Ryan’s story and the pictures of Michael displayed in that exhibit will always be an integral part of the Ryan White story. The poster was removed because it was not part of the original re-creation of Ryan’s room.”

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