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City cancels Michael Jackson costume for Manneken Pis
Beloved Brussels mascot Manneken Pis will not – we repeat, not – be dressed as Michael Jackson next week. There had been a plan to dress the statue in a costume emulating the pop star next Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of Jackson’s death.
The costume is ready to go, created and donated by MJBackstage, a local Michael Jackson fan club. The decision to dress Pis in the outfit had been approved last year and would be part of a ceremony honouring Jackson.
City officials apparently thought better of the decision to dress the statue of a little boy as the late celebrity. The Brussels-City councillor responsible for culture told La Dernière that the decision to cancel the ceremony and costume was directly related to the documentary Leaving Neverland, which aired on Belgian TV in March.
The four-hour film was a thorough and sensitive look into the lives of two men who said that Jackson had sexually abused them for many years when they were boys.
“We deeply regret being made ineligible and the delay in delivering this decision to us,” MJBackstage wrote on its website, “as well as the total lack of consideration of MJBackstage and Michael Jackson fans.”
The city said there would be an official “administrative acceptance” of the costume provided by MJBackstage (pictured above).
Photo courtesy MJBackstage