Barbra Streisand grew to become the topic of intense criticism over the weekend after sharing her ideas on “Leaving Neverland,” the brand new documentary about Michael Jackson, saying that the alleged victims of his sexual abuse had been “thrilled” to be with him.
The documentary dropped at gentle the abuse that two youngsters, now males, mentioned they endured by the hands of Mr. Jackson.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Ms. Streisand mentioned in an interview revealed on Friday in The Times of London. “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
She added that she believed the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the boys who claimed within the documentary that Mr. Jackson abused them after they had been youngsters.
On Saturday, Ms. Streisand clarified her feedback in a press release.
“To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is O.K. for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone,” she mentioned.
In the Times of London interview, she mentioned she felt sympathy for Mr. Jackson, saying he was “very sweet, very childlike” when she met him.
She added that whereas she felt dangerous for the kids, she additionally felt dangerous for Mr. Jackson and in the end blamed the kids’s dad and mom.
“I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him,” she mentioned. “Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?”
In her assertion on Saturday, Ms. Streisand reiterated her emotions concerning the youngsters’s dad and mom.
“The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children,” she mentioned. “It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.”
The feedback from Ms. Streisand, who’s a member of the elite EGOT membership (that means she has received at the least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award), got here beneath fireplace on social media. Shortly after the interview was revealed, the hashtag #CancelBarbraStreisand started trending on Twitter.
Dan Reed, who directed “Leaving Neverland,” requested on Twitter whether or not pedophilia was a norm of the leisure business.
“‘His sexual needs were his sexual needs’ — is pedophilia tolerated in parts of the entertainment industry?” he tweeted.
Mr. Reed, Mr. Robson and Mr. Safechuck didn’t instantly reply to messages and emails left with their publicists.
In August 1993, Mr. Jackson was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department over claims that he had molested a 13-year-old boy. In 1994, Mr. Jackson settled a lawsuit introduced by the boy’s dad and mom for $23 million.
In a 2003 documentary, Mr. Jackson mentioned sharing his mattress with a younger most cancers survivor. The movie sparked a legal investigation, and Mr. Jackson was charged with little one molesting, serving alcohol to a minor, conspiracy and kidnapping; he was discovered not responsible of all prices in 2005. Several years after Mr. Jackson’s demise, Mr. Robson and Mr. Safechuck individually sued the pop star’s property. Both circumstances had been dismissed, and each are beneath attraction.
Social media customers criticized Ms. Streisand’s feedback as tone deaf and mentioned they had been tantamount to telling sexual assault survivors to simply recover from it.
“Leaving Neverland,” which HBO began showing in two parts this month, options Mr. Robson and Mr. Safechuck detailing how they met Mr. Jackson, how thrilled they had been to work with him and the way he ingratiated himself with their households as a way to have entry to them.
In the documentary, Mr. Safechuck, who was round 9 or 10 when he met Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Robson, who was 7, describe how Mr. Jackson appeared bigger than life and the way they felt particular as a result of he had chosen them as buddies.
The relationships quickly turned bitter, they defined within the documentary, after they felt Mr. Jackson changed them with different youngsters.
Mr. Jackson, who died in 2005 at age 50, lived a majority of his life within the highlight.
At 5, he was the lead singer of the Jackson 5, a music group his father, Joe Jackson, began together with his 4 brothers. Michael Jackson later grew to become a solo act and finally offered 750 million information. He grew to become fashionable for groundbreaking music movies within the 1980s.
In the interview with The Times of London, Ms. Streisand mentioned she turned down a chance to sing a duet with Mr. Jackson for his 1987 album, “Bad.”
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