By: Ruthy Batista
Michael Jackson. Just his name is enough to fill you with emotions. Whether you like the guy or not, he was (and still is) a legend. But, does the HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, ruin his legacy?
As a fan of MJ, Leaving Neverland was not easy to watch. I actually had to stop it the first time I watched it. In fact, it took me about 3 days to watch the entire thing. Why? Because nothing about sexual abuse is easy to stomach. However, let’s just spill the tea because this is too big of a situation not to poke at.
Sexual abuse is a very sensitive subject and will never be a simple conversation. Not to mention, allegations should not just be thrown around. That only hurts the real victims of this horrendous act.
The recent documentary, to say the least, is intense and over barring.
Let’s start with Wade Robson. Robson testified in 2005 in Jackson’s favor. However, in the documentary he gives graphic detail on the things MJ did to him from the ages of 7-14. While these are serious accusations, he just strikes me to seem a tad bit obsessed.
As a child, he idolized MJ. Robson danced like him, made matching outfits, watch everything and anything with him in it, got a matching hair style and begged to stay with him the first time they met. Which, I might add, he did for a week and admitted to not seeing anything wrong with it. Clearly, Robson was in love with MJ and wanted everything to do with him. In fact, in his eyes, MJ could do no wrong. To him, he was a mentor, his idol and “God”.
In this topic of conversation, it’s best to get to the core of the issue because usually the abuser was abused. So, I did some digging. Low and behold, it was no secret that MJ’s father was harsh, especially on him. His dad viewed him as his money maker. He did not have a normal childhood as he started with the Jackson 5 when he was just a kid. MJ was not allowed to play, go to a theme park, explore relationships, or even go to the. movies.
MJ learned to ignore the urge to have fun and replaced it for work. His father would actually beat him to book more shows. And, if he messed up, he would beat him after. What kind of relationship is this?
This is by no means an excuse for the allegations. However, it explains why he told the kids that no one would love them the way he did and that people are evil. He wanted to give all of his love to kids because he never experienced it himself as he grew up. MJ didn’t want anyone to go through the lack of love childhood that he went through.
The other gentlemen in the documentary is James Safechuck. He talks about a lot of baffling things that went on between him and MJ. Apparently, the two actually recited vowels in a ceremony equipped with wedding bands. MJ publicly expressed his abundance of love for the Safechuck family. Which, to me, seemed very interesting. Why? Because he didn’t show this same attention, or enthusiasm, to the Robson family.
Anyways, James won the opportunity to star on the Pepsi commercial with MJ. During which, they say, MJ fell in love with the family almost instantly inviting them to his trailer to spend more time with them. He even kept in touch with them after. To highlight Safechuck even further, MJ scheduled a TV crew to do an interview in his home. They even had to take down Transformer posters and put up Michael Jackson posters to sell the interview. Safechuck is not saying that he was basically auditioning for Michael.
In time passing, Safechuck told MJ that his friends thought he was weird and was hesitant to continue visiting him. So, MJ began to send the family money, took them on trips and gave them concert tickets. He would say, “the best of the best for the Safechucks. I feel safe with the Safechucks.” Perhaps they were the family he always wanted?
When MJ went to trial a second time, Safechuck refused to be a part of it. After he was proven innocent, he called the family as said “See, I’d never do that to someone.” In return, Safechuck yelled at him to never call him again and hung up. He didn’t hear from MJ again.
When MJ passed away, the Robson family was devastated. Robson’s mother said “Wade didn’t even cry that hard at his father’s funeral.” Robson fell into such a deep depression that he slowly lost himself. In fact, his career went downhill and he never really moved on. So… why is he making these graphic allegations of abuse?
On the other hand, when the Safechuck family received the news, the mother had a sense of relief. James stated he was saddened, but was happy to know he won’t hurt anyone else.
Did you see the documentary? What do you think?
If you, or someone you know, has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.