Allegations of abuse against Michael Jackson divides fanbase


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"Leaving Neverland" was released on Jan. 25 on HBO. The documentary was released nearly ten years after Jackson's death.

“Leaving Neverland: Part One” has aired on HBO, and it has people divided. The two part documentary is about Michael Jackson and the allegations of sexual abuse with two underage boys. The two boys, now men, have recently come forward and given detailed accounts of the sexual abuse that they previously denied.

The fact that one of his accusers settled out of court in 1993 for $23 million and that Jackson was acquitted on all charges in his 2005 molestation trial fuels the argument proceeding from his fanbase that claims all of this is just another ploy by his accusers to siphon money from his estate as well as garner more attention.

Jackson’s estate and fanbase both vehemently deny any wrongdoing by the now deceased superstar and his estate has tried to block it from airing on HBO. They cite his naivete as a reason this issue even occurred in the first place and have taken to social media platforms like Twitter in droves to defend his name using the hashtag #mjfam. For others, however, this issue is much bigger than defending the name of any one star.

Multiple allegations of child abuse are too many red flags for them to pass up and they cite the documentary as a way to shed light on this very sensitive subject. The detailed and chilling tales of abuse that the two men describe are powerful enough to warrant strong action against child abuse from anyone, and for some viewers of the documentary, they see this as reason enough to support the victims in this situation.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50. This documentary has aired nine years later and the question is beginning to shift from did Jackson do it- to does it even still matter? At this point there may be no way to tell if Jackson really did abuse Wade Robson and James Safechuck as children but if he did, it matters a great deal.

This documentary not only sheds a strong light on the issue of child abuse in the Jackson home, but it effectively dismantles the iconic and godlike image that Jackson has built for himself all over the world.  

His once glorious and universally loved name would become a stain and a tarnish on the music world. All of those who looked up to him would be left without the hero they came to lean on. This is especially true for those in African American communities who felt as though his achievements were something like their own.

On the other hand, if it could be proven that his two accusers did lie, that would time well enough with false accusation issues that Jussie Smollett has recently given a stage to. False accusations of any sort give victim shamers more ammo than ever when they argue the validity of any assault claim. Others would then be discouraged to come forward and the #Metoo movement could effectively lose its momentum and progress. This is all speculation of course, but it is all said to demonstrate the reasons this case has been in the news since 1993 in the first place. People clearly yearn for the truth but there are a great many who would rather stay in Neverland.