HBO’s showing of the first part of Leaving Neverland, a documentary movie about the alleged sexual abuse by King of Pop, Michael Jackson and follows the story of men who claimed to have been a victim when they were young, has caused a major Twitter outburst – with celebrities and fans talking about it.
The first part of the docu-movie revolves around Wade Robson and James Safechuck who claimed to have been systematically and sexually abused by the late famous pop star. The two said that they met Michael Jackson when they were child dancers, and he groomed them with particular measures so nobody would know the sexual abuse.
“He would run drills with me where, you’d be in the hotel room, and he would pretend like somebody was coming in, and you had to get dressed as fast as possible without making noise,” Safechuck said. “So not getting caught was a big, like, just kind of fundamental. It was very much a secret, and he would tell me that if anybody found out, his life would be over and my life would be over.”
“He was one of the kindest, most gentle, loving, caring people I knew. He helped me … tremendously. He helped me with my career. He helped me with my creativity, with all of those sorts of things. And he also sexually abused me. For seven years,” Robson stated.
Safechuck and Robson both allege that Jackson’s sexual abuse spanned several years, up until they were teenagers. Safechuck also said he felt Jackson separated him from his family. “At the same time the sexual relationship is growing, he’s working on pushing you away from your parents,” Safechuck said. “Or pushing you away from everybody else, and … and it feels more like … like it’s just you and him.”
The documentary also made an accusation about the clandestine relationship between Jackson and Brett Barnes as well as with Macaulay Culkin – who both denied the allegations and have publicly defended the late King of Pop from any wrongdoings.
Brett took Twitter his thoughts regarding the documentary. He said: “not only do we have to deal with these lies, but we’ve also got to deal with people perpetuating these lies. The fact that they fail to do the small amount of research it takes to prove these are lies, by choice or not, make it even worse.”
A 53-page lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Jackson’s estate, claims that HBO was violating “non-disparagement” agreement by airing “Leaving Neverland,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
“Michael Jackson is innocent. Period,” the suit says. “In 2005, Michael Jackson was subjected to a trial — where rules of evidence and law were applied before a neutral judge and jury and where both sides were heard –, and he was exonerated by a sophisticated jury.”
“Ten years after his passing, there are still those out to profit from his enormous worldwide success and take advantage of his eccentricities,” it adds.
SHOCK AND DISGUST
Meanwhile, Twitter erupted with fan reactions and celebrities’ thoughts regarding the show. The responses have ranged from shock and disgust to a call to believe survivors to skepticism and denial.
One called out how people easily believe women when they claim sexual harassment and deny when it’s men who do it.
Another Twitter user dismissed the documentary as a film that is meant to structure a specific narrative against somebody [Michael Jackson]. He even called the show out for not being a documentary but a staged interview.
Someone also claimed that it is weird for James Safechuck’s mother to laugh while his son is being interviewed for an alleged sexual assault that he was a victim in.
Another Tweeter said that people who believe that Michael Jackson is innocent are dumb.
Many other tweets called the show disgusting and a desperate effort to tear Michael Jackson’s reputation up and that the show is all lies.