Living legend and four time Grammy Winner, Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic, will temporarily cease performing parodies of Michael Jackson songs after the release of the polarizing docuseries Leaving Neverland, which details allegations of years of intense child abuse by Jackson from two men who were close to him in the 1990s. It is worth noting that nothing has ever been proven against Jackson, and that his family has not been happy about Leaving Neverland and are in the process of making several lawsuits against the people involved in the docuseries.
As mxdwn has previously reported, Yankovic is currently on tour for his No Strings Attached album and as Pitchfork reports, in an interview with Billboard, he has taken a stand and will stop performing parodies of songs Jackson made out of his impressive library of four decades worth of songs.
Yankovic confided to Billboard that he wanted to stop performing his classic songs “Eat It,” a parody of “Beat It,” and “Fat,” a parody of “Bad” in the aftermath of Leaving Neverland. Yankovic does not know if this change is permanent or not but for now, he will avoid performing these “fan favorites.”
He told Billboard directly “I don’t know if that’s going to be permanent or not, but we just felt that with what’s happened recently with the HBO documentaries, we didn’t want anybody to feel uncomfortable. I felt I had enough fan favorites in the show that I could get away with it. I haven’t gotten a lot of pushback; There have been some people who have expressed disappointment, but we decided to err on the side of not offending people.”
He said that a positive of stopping the performances of “Fat,” is that at least he does not have to wear a heavy fatsuit in the scorching summer sun, however, the suit is still in storage if he were ever comfortable with adding parodies of Jackson’s songs back into his setlist.
It is worth noting that Yankovic is still making money off of these songs. At the time of writing this article Yankovic has not completely discarded the Jackson parodies as both “Fat” and “Eat It” can be purchased on iTunes, viewed on Yankovic’s official Youtube channel, streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music, so the ban is specifically aimed towards the live performances of these songs.