Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh explains pulling Michael Jackson-inspired designs in the wake of "Leaving Neverland" documentary

Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Following the shocking allegations of abuse detailed in the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, Louis Vuitton has pulled designs inspired by the late King of Pop, People magazine reports.  Now Virgil Abloh, the brand’s menswear artistic director, is condemning “any form of child abuse.”

“The documentary Leaving Neverland, featuring two men who allege they were sexually abused as children by Michael Jackson, has caused us the greatest pain,” Abloh says in statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“…We were unaware of this documentary at the time of the last LV FW19 Men’s Show,” he continues. “My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers.”

Adds Abloh, “I am aware that, in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights.”

The Louis Vuitton 2019 fall-winter menswear collection was unveiled in January at a Paris fashion show. The runway replicated the sidewalk in Jackson’s iconic “Billie Jean” video, and among the pieces were graphic tees featuring images of MJ’s signature socks and loafers in mid-Moonwalk.

Other designs referenced Michael’s scarecrow character from The Wiz, and some models wore bedazzled white gloves.

Michael Burke, chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, also commented about Leaving Neverland.

“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” Burke says. “Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”

Both Jackson’s family and estate have denied the allegations made in the documentary and have filed a lawsuit against HBO.

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