It looks like Barbara Streisand is facing a heavy amount of social media backlash, after claiming Michael Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck knew what they were getting into while allegedly being abused by Jackson. Streisand said she “absolutely” believed the sexual abuse claims made by both, but stated that the abuse “didn’t kill them” and didn’t impact them permanently.
The 76-year-old singer, songwriter, and actress spoke with British newspaper The Times about her thoughts in regards to the highly controversial HBO documentary, saying, “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 [Robson and Safechuck] say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
When asked about how she felt about Jackson in light of the claims, Streisand responded she had a “combination of feelings”, saying she ultimately felt bad for the children, but blamed the parents who allowed their children to sleep with him. Her comments come after the release of HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, where it examines Safechucks’ and Robson’s claim that they were sexually abused by the late pop star. Both accusers told their story in very excruciating details in the documentary, which despite a whopping $100 million lawsuit filed against HBO by Jackson’s estate, still aired through the streaming service.
Safe to say online users were devastated and furious at Streisand for her comments, because of course, and expressed their outrage by calling the singer insensitive. Dan Reed, director of Leaving Neverland, was also shocked with the singers statement, starting a Twitter feud with users, attacking Streisand left and right.
A few days after her interview came out, Streisand did issue an apology through a representative, saying there is no “situation or circumstance” was it’s okay from children to be taken advantage by anyone. She ultimately believed the stories both men told and stated that hearing them was painful. Streisand noted that she felt nothing but sympathy for both Wade and Safechuck.
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. I feel deep remorse and hope James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”
Barbara Streisand isn’t the only celebrity to get criticized for comments made about Jackson’s documentary. Diana Ross, who was a close friend with Jackson, tweeted to insist the alleged victims stop sharing what happened to them, calling Jackson an “incredible force” to her and many others.
The effect of the documentary has left several confused with the whole situation, especially since Jackson was very well-known and loved by many for years. Radio stations worldwide have stopped playing his music, and last week The Simpsons announced they were pulling their Michael Jackson episode off the air. The Children ‘s Museum of Indianapolis in Indiana has also removed three items of Jackson memorabilia for their exhibits.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Jackson is being accused of sexual misconduct. In 1993, Jackson was charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy and was indicted for four counts of molesting a minor four counts of intoxicating a minor to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, one count of conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction. Jackson was found not guilty on all charges.
Now, in 2019, lawyers for Jackson’s estate are called the documentary “a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself.” They have denied all accusations.