An explosive two-part documentary released by international television network HBO, which details the shocking accounts of the sexual abuse two men allegedly suffered as boys at the hands of pop icon Michael Jackson, has fans outraged and disturbed.
The documentary, titled Leaving Neverland, has left many in disbelief, with many now boycotting the popstar’s music as a show of support for the victims.
World-renowned dancer and choreographer Wade Robson, along with James Safechuck – who appeared in a Pepsi advert with Jackson as a child – have come forward to share their harrowing tales of abuse with the world.
The pair brought civil lawsuits against Jackon’s estate after his death in 2009, but this was thrown out of court in 2017 after the court ruled that the estate could not be held liable for the singer’s actions or behaviour.
During a sit-down interview with CBS This Morning, four members of the Jackson family – Jackie, Tito, Marlon, and Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj – denied the allegations. “I know Michael. I’m the oldest brother. I know my brother. I know what he stood for, what he was all about, bringing the world together, making kids happy,” Jackie said.
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While touring is grueling and highly scheduled, Michael was unique in that he always found time to visit hospitals to comfort the patients. During one stretch on the HIStory tour in 1996, Michael visited children’s hospitals and orphanages in Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, and Bangkok, and donated $100,000 to an orphanage and a school for the blind.
Many international radio stations have now banned the popstar’s songs from being featured on their playlists, including several stations in Canada and New Zealand.
In a statement, one New Zealand radio station, MediaWorks, said, “Michael Jackson isn’t currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations’ playlists. This is a reflection of our audiences and their preferences – it is our job to ensure our radio stations are playing the music people want to hear.”
Fans have taken to social media to share their opinions on the documentary:
I was always told that when someone lies they look downwards. At no time did either of these men do that, they looked straight at the camera at all times. These men were failed not just by Michael Jackson but by those who loved them the most, their parents. #LeavingNeverland
— Eileen M Cumiskey (@cumiskey55) March 7, 2019
The Man in the Mirror and the Leaving Neverland documentaries conflict so much. I have no idea what to believe.
— Maria (@MemeStubley) March 7, 2019
Actually just threw up watching leaving neverland. Never listening to any of his albums ever again.
— Rhi:)! (@RhiDunE44) March 7, 2019
Its so weird how the exact same thing R Kelly did to cover up his actions are the same things Michael Jackson did to all his Victims & Family when they speak out. Even the whole grooming process with the kids #LeavingNeverland
— Bluebirdy (@ThaboBluebird) March 7, 2019
Wade might not have thought sleeping in Michael’s room was wrong but that’s because he was a child meeting his idol. His family however should’ve done a better job of protecting him. #leavingneverland
— 🦄Cookie Crumble🍪 (@FairyCrumble) March 7, 2019
the leaving neverland documentary is so disturbing 😔😢
— kaylin ✨ (@_kaeliz) March 7, 2019
#LeavingNeverland… I don’t know what horrifies me more, the men’s accounts of the sexual and psychological abuse they received, or the current hate and abuse they’re receiving now
— Richard David-Caine (@RichardDCaine) March 7, 2019
I watched last nights MJ documentary , I’m 50/50 on this , I feel that if this was a random man accused of this then he would of been burned at the stake before he was found guilty , because it’s Micheal Jackson then people jump to defend him #LeavingNeverland
— nicky wilkinson (@misswilky7) March 7, 2019