Proof That Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Support Michael Jackson Despite ‘Leaving Neverland’

After decades of speculation about Michael Jackson’s alleged misdeeds, the documentary Leaving Neverland added even more fuel to the fire. However, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made it clear where they stand on the issue. Their Christmas present to their daughter, North, made headlines not only for its staggering cost, but for the history behind it. Many concerned fans wondered if it was a good idea to give their daughter one of Jackson’s iconic belongings, but the West family firmly planted their flag in the “MJ is OK” camp.

Kanye West in a jean jacket and Kim Kardashian in a silver dress
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West at Fashion Group International’s 2019 Night of Stars | James Devaney/Getty Images

Kanye’s comments on the MJ controversy

A year ago, West made headlines for defending Jackson as more news about Leaving Neverland came out. During his Sunday Service concert, West said: “They’re just going to pull up full documentaries on ’em, and then they’re going to come with the Michael documentary. But we can enjoy their music all we want… If we’re gonna tear down artists, let’s go ahead and take da Vinci out the Louvre. Let’s take down all the art.” To head off the following controversy, Kardashian took to Twitter explaining that West was talking about his own experiences and what he had seen with “cancel culture.”

The Michael Jackson references across Kanye’s career

Since his first album in 2004, West made his appreciation of the King of Pop clear. Three of his first hits (“Gold Digger,” “Through the Wire,” and “Slow Jamz”) all mention some aspect of MJ’s life (wealth, skin color, Pepsi commercial disaster). Even Jay-Z’s famous “Ball So Hard” verse on their Watch the Throne collaboration references Jackson (along with some other famous Michaels), it’s hard to imagine West didn’t have input on that.

2020 isn’t the year to relitigate Michael Jackson’s tabloid-filled life; he passed away very young, and even his biggest critic has to admit that Thriller still slaps. That said, celebrities taking public stands in his favor deserve some amount of criticism, especially when it follows a damning documentary. Kardashian and West could have avoided this recent bout of criticism by not publicizing their purchase of MJ memorabilia, but they decided to go on the record and the world is responding accordingly.

How other celebrities remember the King of Pop

Perhaps it’s West’s nose for criticism, or perhaps the world is just now responding after fifteen years of pro-MJ content from him. Plenty of other high-profile Jackson fans have enjoyed his music and memorabilia with a tiny fraction of the controversy. Lady Gaga purchased 55 pieces of MJ’s closet back in 2012 without so much as a raised eyebrow. There’s a difference between purchasing items at auction and a full-on endorsement, but it’s interesting Gaga didn’t see any mainstream media backlash — possibly because her purchase was prior to the release of Leaving Neverland. Kardashian and West have spent a lot of time in the press so perhaps they’re used to inviting controversy.

The premiere of Leaving Neverland forced dozens of celebrities to rethink their opinion on Jackson. While almost everyone stated their support for the victims, some of Jackson’s previous supporters adjusted their position. Corey Feldman stated “I don’t want to be perceived as I’m here to defend Michael Jackson, because I can no longer do that. I can not in good consciousness defend anyone who’s being accused of such horrendous crimes.” The allegations against Jackson have been present in pop culture for decades and Leaving Neverland pushed them to another level, but the West family is doubling down on their support and it’s clear they’re raising the next generation to join them.