The first installment of “Leaving Neverland” premiered last night on HBO. Directed by Dan Red, the documentary is about child abuse allegations against the late Michael Jackson. Tonight is the final installment and directly after HBO will air interviews with the accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, which will be conducted by Oprah. Now, the mogul is being slammed on Twitter.
According to Variety.com, Oprah said she knows she will receive backlash for the interviews, “I’m gonna get it,” she said to an audience of more than 100 abuse survivors during a taping of the broadcast on Wednesday at the New York Times Center.
She added, “This movie transcends Michael Jackson. It allows us to see societal corruption. Beware of people who just want to be around your children.”
In a story on OprahMag.com, digital director I have loved Michael Jackson the artist for several decades. But in this case, there is no separating the artist from the man. There is no song, album, or memory that is worth discrediting what happened to a seven year old little boy who was so young when he was being touched sexually, he worried that his abuser would turn into the werewolf from ‘Thriller'” There is not a single thing or person in popular culture that is worth not protecting and believing our children. So for me, it’s time to say goodbye to Michael Jackson—one last time.”
According to Rolling Stone, the film’s synopsis is described as “At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families. Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson, and how they came to terms with it years later.”
Jackson’s estate told TMZ back in January, “This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson. The so-called documentary is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project”.
In 1993, Jackson was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy. In January of 1994, Jackson reportedly settled for $23,000,000. The accuser’s father committed suicide in 2009, five months after Jackson passed away. Jordan Chandler reportedly has never come forward about the allegations and supposedly lives outside of the country. In 2017, when choreographer Wade Robson accused Jackson of sexual assault—even though he’d said in the past the singer didn’t assault him—there was a hunt to find Chandler. According to The Daily Mail, he left the U.S. to avoid investigators.
In 2003, Jackson was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to a 13-year-old boy. He was acquitted of all charges.
See the reactions to Oprah below: