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Celebrities React To HBO’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ Documentary

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On March 3rd and 4th, HBO released their controversial documentary, Leaving Neverland, depicting abuse allegations against superstar Michael Jackson. When the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it required “an unprecedented police presence” and bomb-sniffing dogs because of the public outcry it caused. Now, celebrities are sharing their opinions and causing more controversy for the film.

John Legend Takes An Ambivalent Stance

John Legend is fairly opinionated when it comes to political issues, but his commentary on Leaving Neverland was uncharacteristically ambivalent. He commented, “Artists aren’t going to be perfect and you can’t expect artists to be blemish-free, but everybody’s gotta decide what’s too far for them.” His views were respectful of fans and Michael Jackson’s legacy, but still urged people to challenge their assumptions.

Amber Tamblyn Speaks Out For Child Actors

Amber Tamblyn is an active feminist and supporter or sexual abuse movements such as the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. She tweeted after watching the film, “As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the soul (sic) purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope.” Both of the men in Leaving Neverland who shared accounts of abuse were child performers, which is how they met Jackson.

Corey Feldman Defends Jackson

Corey Feldman, like Wade Robson and James Safechuck whose accounts were shared in the film, knew Michael Jackson when he was a child. However, his story differs from Robson’s and Safechuck’s. He tweeted: “Every experience was the same… right up 2 the sex part! That is where it becomes La La Land, instead of Neverland for me.” He also brought up Robson and Safechuck’s court statements from 2005, where they stated that Michael Jackson had not molested them. The two men address this in the film, however, saying that they were afraid of the repercussions of telling the truth.

Molly Ringwald Wants Parents To Watch The Doc

Molly Ringwald was a favorite teen actor in the late ’80s and was likely a big fan of Michael Jackson as well. However, she stood by the Leaving Neverland victims, tweeting, “#LeavingNeverland should be required watching for parents to recognize seduction and grooming… Thank you, Wade Robson and James Safechuck for your bravery and dignity.”

The Jackson Family May Be Falling Apart

Many of the Jackson family, including Michael’s siblings, nieces, and nephews are speaking out fiercely against the film. However, Janet Jackson, the second most high-profile of the family and oldest surviving sibling, has not released a statement. This has caused some tension in the family, as the rest of the Jacksons believe that she should defend her brother.

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