The storied French fashion house has announced that items from several Michael Jackson-inspired runway looks from the label’s Fall/Winter 2019 menswear show will not be produced for sale, as HBO’s controversial documentary “Leaving Neverland” has sparked outcry among many.
Though reps for Vuitton had initially claimed they were “unaware” of the flick, which premiered at Sundance on Jan. 25, just days after the Jan. 17 Paris show, the company has responded to the backlash in recent days and announced it will not be producing any item “that directly features Michael Jackson elements” from the show, WWD reports.
When looks from the collection do hit stores, the pieces will “purely reflect the true values of the brand and of our artistic director,” reps said.
“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,” LV men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh told WWD.
“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” Vuitton CEO and chairman Michael Burke agreed. “Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”
Abloh had previously said that although the Fall/Winter 2019 designs certainly paid homage to the late pop star, he had hoped to highlight “the Michael that I thought was universally accepted, the good side, his humanitarian self,” as per the outlet.
Notable Jackson-esque pieces from the recent men’s show included a graphic tee featuring the singer’s famed socks and loafers, tops emblazoned with his character from the 1978 flick “The Wiz” and glittering white gloves, People reports. The backdrop and ambiance of the show were reportedly designed to evoke the iconic “Billie Jean” music video set as well.
In similar headlines, since "Leaving Neverland" debuted, Starbucks, the Los Angeles Lakers and several radio stations have distanced themselves from the late singer, E! Online reported, announcing that they will no longer be playing his music in official capacities.
The 236-minute documentary "Leaving Neverland" first aired in two parts on HBO on March 3 and 4.
The film details how Wade Robson, James Safechuck and their families came to know and trust Jackson at the height of his fame in the 1980s and early 1990s. The documentary delves into the alleged abuse, which Robson says started at age 7 and Safechuck says began at age 10, and the trauma that emerged as adults when they both started to understand what happened to them.
Jackson's estate continues to attack their credibility, and they've encountered disbelief and even threats from fans.
In late February, the estate filed a lawsuit against HBO alleging that the film violates a contract to show a 1992 Jackson concert that requires that the network not disparage the singer in the future.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.