Michael Jackson Documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ Gets Mixed Reactions on Twitter

Leaving Neverland, the HBO documentary accusing Michael Jackson of sexually abusing children, debuted to mixed reactions on Twitter.

In the two-part documentary, which premiered on Sunday, March 3, and concludes on Monday, March 4, Wade Robson and James Safechuck detailed the time they spent with the late King of Pop in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Robson, 36, and Safechuck, 40, both claimed that Jackson groomed and abused them as children for years after building trust with their families and inviting them to stay at his sprawling Neverland Valley Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California.

Michael Jackson Documentary Leaving Neverland Mixed Reactions Twitter
Michael Jackson and Wade Robson HBO

Jackson, who died at the age of 50 in June 2009, was investigated for child sexual abuse two times during his life. In 1994, he settled out of court with the boy who accused him and no charges were filed against the “Thriller” singer. In 2005, he was found not guilty after a lengthy criminal trial, during which Robson testified that Jackson had not molested him.

The Jackson family and the 13-time Grammy winner himself emphatically denied allegations of sexual abuse. In February, the estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO for breach of contract, claiming that the network violated a non-disparagement clause from a 1992 contract by airing Leaving Neverland. (HBO aired Jackson’s Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour special in 1992.)

After the first part of Leaving Neverland aired on Sunday night, viewers took to Twitter to share their reactions, which ranged from disgust toward Jackson to disbelief of Robson and Safechuck’s claims.

Amber Tamblyn tweeted, “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 purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope. #LeavingNeverland.”

Rosie O’Donnell tweeted, “Michael jackson doc is now on HBO – haunting … who would leave a seven – yes 7 – year old boy with a grown man – makes no sense to me as a mom.”

Another viewer wrote, “I watched this with an open mind. I didn’t want to believe it, but wanted to hear their side, and read what documents/testimonials/court paperwork others had. I still do not find anything to convince me MJ did what he is being accused of.”

A fourth watcher pointed out that “no matter how believed the abuser, it is imperative to believe survivors.”

See more reactions below.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing and recovering, and more.

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