The reverberations from HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary are still echoing in the music and entertainment industries, with streaming plays of Micheal Jackson songs down and many wondering if they can morally listen to Jackson’s music in the wake of the two-part, four-hour documentary.
Some actions still seem a bridge too far for many. Jackson, for example, won’t be removed from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland despite public opinion of Jackson turning sharply in the wake of the documentary’s airing on HBO. And some close friends of Jackson’s continue to defend — or at least deflect — against allegations that Jackson sexually molested multiple children over the course of a decade.
One of those friends and collaborators is Barbra Streisand, who in an interview released on Friday defended Jackson’s “sexual needs” and blamed the parents of the accusers for Jackson’s alleged crimes. Streisand told British paper The Times of London that she “absolutely” believes the two accusers in Leaving Neverland, but blamed bad parenting on their molestation more than Jackson himself.
According to the New York Post, Streisand attributed his desire to molest to “whatever DNA he has” and said the abuse “didn’t kill” the accusers, who both went on to get married and have children.
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” Streisand told The Times. “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Streisand also placed blame on the parents of the accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who appeared in the documentary that explored their struggles in coming to grips with the years of sexual abuse they endured while with Jackson. She called it “a combination of feelings” in the wake of the documentary.
“I feel bad for the children,” she said. “I feel bad for him. I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him. Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shoes and the dancing and the hats?”
The quotes drew outrage across the Internet as they spread on Friday and into Saturday, as Streisand seems to minimize the role Jackson played in the sexual abuse he’s accused of and the impact it had on the boys, who were as young as seven when they alleged Jackson began sexually abusing them.