“MJ The Musical,” a show about the life and work of Michael Jackson, opened on Broadway Tuesday.
- A Variety journalist asked questions about Jackson’s sexual abuse allegations, before being kicked out.
- “Art is complicated,” Quentin Earl Darrington, who plays Joe and Rob Jackson, said.
One of the stars of “MJ The Musical,” a new Broadway show about Michael Jackson‘s life and music, said “art is very complicated” when asked about the late singer’s sexual abuse allegations – a part of the King of Pop’s life that lingered throughout his life and career.
When asked by Variety how theatergoers “should balance potential discomfort” while still attempting to enjoy the performance, Quentin Earl Darrington, who plays the roles of Joe and Rob Jackson, said: “Art is very complicated.”
“I pray that for every piece of theater that you see — whether it’s ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘MJ The Musical,’ or ‘The Music Man’ — that you can find yourself in the story being told,” Darrington added. “You can grapple, wrestle, be enlightened, be intrigued, be mystified by how you fit in the context of life being displayed before you.”
He continued: “Maybe you have some questions. Maybe you have some resolutions. Maybe you’ll be frightened. But that’s what art is all about.”
According to Variety, when one of their journalists attended the red carpet event and asked about Jackson’s sexual abuse allegations, they were eventually told they were no longer welcome to the red carpet.
“I’ve been hearing you’re asking difficult questions,” a representative said to the journalist, according to the outlet. “Not on opening night. If you would like to ask real questions, you can schedule an interview with the cast.”
Representatives for the Broadway show did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“MJ The Musical” depicts the rehearsal process for Jackson’s 1992 “Dangerous” world tour that was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. The musical is written by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and produced by the Michael Jackson estate.
In fact, Jackson’s three kids made a rare appearance at the show’s opening night, with Prince, 24, and Paris, 23, walking the red carpet.
As previously reported by Insider, the Los Angeles Times said in 1993 that Jackson was being investigated on suspicion of molesting four boys, which he consistently denied before his death in 2009. He settled a lawsuit brought by the family of one accuser, a 13-year-boy, while denying any “wrongful acts,” NPR reported.
Allegations of sexual abuse continued throughout Jackson’s career, and he was charged in 2003 with several counts of child molestation, CNN reported at the time. After pleading not guilty, he was acquitted of all charges in 2005.
The advice Darrington offered to those coming to see the musical was to “bring your open eyes.”
”Bring your humanity,” he said. “Bring your awareness. Bring your pain. Bring your doubt. Bring your fears. It doesn’t matter. Bring all of you to the theater.”