This is how celebrities are reacting to the Leaving Neverland documentary
Louis Theroux has some strong words
It's been nearly a week since the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland aired on Channel 4 in the UK. The documentary is in two parts, over four hours, and is based on the claims of Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Both men say that as boys, they stayed with Michael Jackson at his Neverland ranch and were abused by the then King of Pop. The documentary has split the nation, some believe the men, and others say Jackson is innocent. What has been interesting is seeing celebrities react to Leaving Neverland – they too are completely divided, and seem not afraid to use their platforms to share their views.
Here is how celebrities react to Leaving Neverland:
The Jackson family
It's not exactly a surprise the Jackson family have been out in force defending Michael Jackson. Family members that have spoken out in support of Jackson include his brother Jermaine Jackson, daughter Paris Jackson, his nephews Taj Jackson and TJ Jackson and niece Yashi Brown.
TJ Jackson tweeted saying it was "blatant lies" and used the hashtag #MJInnocent.
Paris Jackson replied to a tweet claiming Michael Jackson's legacy was "ruined" saying that the tabloids and "lies" being spread are not the bigger picture. It had been previously reported that Paris wanted the documentary taken down as she believed it would damage her acting career prospects – but Paris has denied she made these comments.
Taj Jackson said that Michael Jackson's accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck have no credibility in what they are saying.
Jermaine Jackson says the media, and Oprah in particular, are taking the doc at face value – not considering any concrete facts, proof or credibility. He says the documentary is trial by media, and the law found Jackson innocent – that's the facts.
Yashi Brown, who is Michael Jackson's niece, says she used to know Wade Robson. She said he had previously laughed at rumours Jackson had abused him, and she alleges staff that worked for Jackson made up the claims to sell stories. She also says Wade Robson had told her how much money he could make if the rumours had been true.
She says she is "raging inside" and calls the accusers "pathetic" and that they have been "discredited". She also calls out Oprah, saying people taker her word as gospel.
Michael Jackson's family has been calling out Oprah, and this is why. Oprah ran a Neverland special show, called "Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland", where she interviews Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed, and the two alleged victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
The entire audience of the show say they were victims of sexual abuse as children. She begins by saying: "In 25 years of the Oprah show I taped 217 episodes on sexual abuse. I tried and tried and tried to get the message across that sexual abuse was not just abuse, it was also sexual seduction.
"After I saw Leaving Neverland for the first time, I called up Dan Reed. I didn’t know Dan Reed, and told him, 'Dan,' I said, 'You were able to illustrate in these four hours what I tried to explain in 217,' And I know people all over the world are going to be in an uproar and debating whether or not Michael Jackson did these things or not, whether these two men are lying or not lying, but for me this moment transcends Michael Jackson. It is much bigger than any one person. This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption. It’s like a scourge on humanity."
Throughout the episode, discussion is opened to the studio audience as well as the men on stage, and it is framed as an open discussion to address misconceptions, as well as a chance for people to share stories.
Oprah has been open in supporting Michael Jackson's alleged victims, and is aware of the backlash this is probably going to cause her. "I’m gonna get it," she said regarding negativity and hate from Jackson fans and people claiming his innocence, "We all gon' get it".
To watch the full episode of "Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland" click here.
Aaron Carter was a friend of Michael Jackson's, and is backing him, saying the accusations are completely false. Aaron Carter appeared on TMZ Live to defend the Jackson legacy. He is also said to be annoyed about a tweet, that appeared to be from Wade, saying he believed Aaron was abused too – but the account has since been confirmed as a hoax.
Aaron Carter told TMZ he too slept in Michael Jackson's bed, but nothing ever happened. He has branded the Leaving Neverland accusers as liars, in particular aiming his hatred at Wade Robson. He reportedly said they had every chance to come forward when Michael Jackson was alive, but didn't. TMZ also report Aaron has said he would "love to punch Wade Robson's face".
Celebrities react to Leaving Neverland very differently, but Louis Theroux is clear he supports the men from the documentary.
Louis Theroux has spoken out about his support of the doc. He says that Michael Jackson was a paedophile, and those that can't see it are blind. He also says anyone campaigning against it are silencing victims of abuse.
Clyde Jenkins is the former exec of MJJ Music – the record label founded by Michael Jackson. In a lengthy Facebook post, apparently written by him, he says Wade Robson should be "ashamed" and lists all the opportunities Jackson gave Robson and his family, including working with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
He describes Robson as a "home wrecking, disloyal individual" and says the only reason he has come out with his claims is because he is "broke". He says the claims are "scandalous and despicable" and "lies". He also calls people to boycott the documentary.
Obviously Piers Morgan would have something to say. In an interview on Good Morning Britain with Dan Reed, he says he's not sure what the truth is, but says the doc is a harrowing watch. He then goes in on Reed, asking him if the documentary actually uncovers any real evidence or just relays the stories we've heard before. He makes the point that other boys, such as Macaulay Culkin, have denied any wrongdoing by Jackson.
Piers says he does believe Jackson was "weird", but he wasn’t as certain of James and Wade’s claims as the director is. "They’ve repeatedly said under oath nothing happened,” Piers points out.
His tweets make his opinions quite clear:
Drake hasn't spoken out directly about the Leaving Neverland documentary, however he has made the decision to drop his song "Don't Matter To Me" from his tour.
The song features Jackson, and it has been reported he dropped the song in the wake of the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Rapper TI has branded the Leaving Neverland documentary racist, saying it only focuses on Michael Jackson because of his race. He posted on Instagram saying: "Let this man speak for himself to defend his legacy. Don’t just listen to one side and expect to find truth. Oh that’s right…Dead men can’t speak. So what was the point again? Destroy another strong black historical LEGEND?!?!"
He goes on to say we should examine people like Elvis Presley and Hugh Hefner.
Rita Ora and Justin Bieber reportedly liked the Instagram post from TI.
Peter Andre once lost a dance contest to Wade Robson, alleged victim of Michael Jackson's abuse, who was interviewed in the Leaving Neverland documentary. It's quite clear Peter Andre is still bitter about not getting to meet his idol, MJ.
Andre was in the final of the competition that Wade Robson won, where the prize was to meet Michael Jackson. Robson alleges that it was this contest that led to the abuse he suffered.
Peter Andre told The Sun: "I was sad for months and months afterwards because the prize was to meet him and I never did – Michael's album Off The Wall was the first I ever bought. We all had to do a video for Michael to tell him why wanted to meet him."
"I haven't seen the whole documentary. I started watching the first 15 minutes and then I thought, 'do I really want to see this?' I knew it would be very uncomfortable to watch and I don't want to. I know at some point I will.
"In my heart of hearts I'd like to believe that [the abuse] never happened, but I wasn't there, so I don't know. My problem with all of this is that if it is true then we cannot and must not ignore the voices of any victims. That goes without saying. But if on the flip-side if he didn't do it, then what? We mustn't forget that he was acquitted and there has been no evidence.
"Do we ignore what this is doing to his children and mother and brothers and Michael's legacy? At the end of the day, all I'm saying is that you've got to think – Michael is not here to defend himself. But at the same time we have to trust in the justice system and because he was acquitted of everything in 2005 it's very difficult."
Jason says he hasn't seen the documentary, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he spoke of the legacy of Michael Jackson's music: "Michael was the sole reason I started singing and dancing, so this was a way for me to give back.
"I started this project [his song Shut Up and Dance] because of my love of the performer that Michael Jackson is and the influence that he had on my life as the best performer that ever lived. This has nothing to do with anyone’s personal life."
Roxanne Pallett, who famously this year caused a HUGE drama on Celebrity Big Brother over 'punch gate' with Ryan Thomas, is out causing a stir again. She is another celeb that is supporting MJ, posting a photo of the King of Pop captioned: "Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on the TV screen, don't make it factual".
She also used the viral hashtag "MJinnocent" and "MJfam" just to make her opinion even more clear.