Wade Robson, the famed choreographer who has accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing him when Robson was a child, is calling out MTV. On Monday the network announced that Missy Elliott would be the recipient of this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs. The award has been named after Jackson since 1991, a few years before the first accusations of child molestation were brought against the singer.
The network has not indicated that it ever considered renaming the award, even after renewed accusations of pedophilia were brought against the late singer in the shocking 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
In a statement to the Wrap, Robson—who shares his allegations against Jackson in Leaving Neverland—called the award’s name an “unfortunate” choice on the network’s behalf.
“I don’t personally need MTV to do one thing or the other, but as child abuse survivors all over the world watch to see whether society will support them or not if they have the courage to come forward, in that regard, it’s an unfortunate choice,” Robson said.
Jackson was first accused of sexually abusing a child, 13-year-old Jordie Chandler, in 1993; one year later, he paid a reported $75 million settlement to Chandler and his family. The Thriller star was also charged with child molestation in 2003, but was acquitted on the charges in a 2005 trial. Jackson, who died in 2009, repeatedly denied the allegations during his lifetime.