The King is dead, long live the poor little children he allegedly abused.
#MeToo and R. Kelly paved the way for a documentary like Leaving Neverland to be made now
and considered under the light of possibility. Rumors of sexual abuse and pedophilia hounded
Michael Jackson throughout his life, and the viral nature of social media has made it impossible for his family to shut down such rumors as they might have done years before. And with the Peter Pan pop star dead for close to a decade, is paying hush money so that alleged victims would just shut up even an option?
Yes, Michael Jackson was an immense talent, but he was also a total whack job. What grown-
up keeps that childish high-pitched tremulous voice as his regular speaking voice? It’s one thing to recapture a childhood he never had by building a round-the-clock fantasyland where
everything is sprinkled in cotton candy innocence, but it’s quite another thing for a man in his
thirties to keep playing doctor with young kids.
So did he or didn’t he groom, then molest and abuse the two men whose harrowing stories are
told in Leaving Neverland?
A British comedian calls the documentary the blue dress/gold dress debacle of 2019. Some
people watched it and thought Michael Jackson was unfairly slandered, that the two men had
profited from their relationship with the pop star when they were young kids and were now
lying, as they had in fact denied that they had been molested in a sworn statement years
before. And then there are those who believe him to be guilty as hell, a sick predator who used
Neverland as a bait to lure young children, mostly boys, into his life and groomed the chosen
few who would share his bed until they were discarded for, well, growing up.
The accounts given by the two men, Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, are
harrowing. Safechuck said he and Jackson had a mock wedding complete with wedding ring
when he was 11. Robson talked about giving Jackson a blow job at the age of seven. What sick
fuck does that?
The more we discover about sexual abuse, the more we understand the trauma victims
continue to suffer, the shame and the secrets, and their own guilt at what they perceive to be
as their own complicity. And why it’s not easy to speak up when you’re up against someone
with more money and power than you.
But what about the parents? Is it that easy to be dazzled by a massively wealthy and massively
famous pop star and believe it was acceptable to let their children loose in this warped
playground? It’s frightening to realize how our celebrity-obsessed culture has seen all common sense and good judgment fly out the window in the face of a genuine international star. But a
grown man, however stunted emotionally and twisted sexually, having sleepovers with young
boys is usually red flag territory. And yet they allowed their children to live in Neverland with
One wonders if Michael Jackson ever really looked at the man in the mirror and asked him to
change his ways. And now that the ugly, uncomfortable and horrifying truth about the King of
Pop has emerged, the question is, to quote the multi-platinum Grammy awardee himself, how
do we start to “heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire
Not by sexually abusing children, that’s for sure.