Famous singer and songwriter Barbra Streisand has shocked the internet and set off a firestorm of controversy, after she seemed to defend the alleged abuse that took place between the late singer Michael Jackson and his victims, who were children at the time.
In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Streisand says she “absolutely” believes the allegations against Jackson, but she doesn’t seem to care anyway. Her comments in the interview made it seem that she sympathized with his actions.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them,” she said in the interview.
The singer went on to say that she had “a combination of feelings” about the alleged abuse, but ultimately placed the blame on the parents. She also said that she feels bad for Michael Jackson as well as his victims.
“I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him,” Streisand said.
Her comments triggered an immediate backlash, especially on Twitter.
Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed posted to Twitter about the interview.
“It didn’t kill them” @BarbraStreisand did you really say that?!#LeavingNerverland https://t.co/p4sIaPIHK6
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 22, 2019
After sparking the controversy, Streisand made a statement to BuzzFeed News apologizing for her comments.
“To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone. The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them. The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children. It’s clear that the parents of the two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy,” the statement read.
Radio stations all over the world are making the decision to ban Michael Jackson’s music in response to the Leaving Neverland documentary.
The shocking documentary explores the cases of alleged victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who spent a lot of time with Jackson on his Neverland ranch when they were young boys. Robson and Safechuck, along with their families, give graphic details of their relationship with Jackson in a series of interviews.
There are many disturbing parallels between the allegations against Michael Jackson and those against R&B artist R. Kelly. In both cases, young children were taken from their homes with promises of being turned into stars. Meanwhile, the parents of the children were paid off and turned a blind eye to the relationship that their children were having with adult men.
The Jackson estate has strongly denied the accusations in the Leaving Neverland documentary, and responded by filing a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. Oddly enough, the estate is not suing for slander or defamation or anything of that nature, but breach of contract. As part of a 1992 contract to air a Jackson concert, HBO promised that the network would never produce anything disparaging about him.
“It is hard to imagine a more direct violation of the non-disparagement clause,” the lawsuit reads.
HBO has not responded to the lawsuit, but in a statement earlier this week, the network issued a statement saying that they will be going forward with airing the film as planned.
“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged, HBO will move forward with the airing of ‘Leaving Neverland. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves,” the statement read.
It was also alleged that Macaulay Culkin was a victim of Jackson’s because they spent so much time together, but Culkin has come forward since the controversy to deny these allegations and say that he had no knowledge of any predatory behavior going on behind the scenes at the Neverland ranch.
“HBO and the director were well aware of their financial motives and that ample opposing facts are available from numerous sources, but made the unconscionable decision to bury any evidence casting doubt on their chosen narrative. Had they made an objective film it would have allowed viewers to make up their own minds about these allegations, instead of having a television network dictate to them that they must accept these false claims about Michael Jackson,” said Howard Weitzman, the estate’s attorney.
Photo: Mark Avery NY Daily News