By Delaney Werner (Berkeley)
Michael Jackson’s life has always been a mystery and we are finally getting answers. Leaving Neverland exposes Jackson for the disturbing and pedophilic actions he carried out on multiple helpless young children. It is a compelling attempt to dethrone the King of Pop. The stories revealed taint Jackson’s legacy, delivering the repulsion he deserves. I can confidently say that after watching this movie, listening to Michael Jackson’s music will never feel the same again.
Leaving Neverland focuses on two survivor’s testimony against Michael Jackson to effectively disclose the abusive sexual relations Jackson performed on them when they were children. Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two survivors, are now in their thirties opening up about the violations they experienced and why it was so easy for Jackson to get away with it. Michael Jackson used his social power and immature character to take advantage of the boys. At the time, people everywhere idolized Michael Jackson. He released hit after hit, invented dance phenomenons, magnified a contagious energy, and stole the crowd’s heart. Who didn’t want to meet Michael Jackson? He used his talent to guide the boys and their families right into his control. Jackson made them feel special. He would call their homes, help them financially, invite them on trips, offer them memorability, and more.
Mrs. Safechuck stated, “No one can befriend him he has to befriend people…for him wanting to befriend us, oh, my god, how lucky.” The families were star struck and blindsided by the pop star’s fame and riches. It never crossed the parents mind that it was inappropriate that their sons were sleeping and spending time alone with Jackson, for he exhibited a very immature personality. Jackson showed interest in playing with toys, reading books, and other childish activities. The parents and boys thought of him as more of a friends the boys’ own age. Jackson even cried when the boys had to leave.
Clearly, Jackson experienced a very lonely and disturbing lifestyle. Sexual relations between Jackson and the boys occurred right under the nose of the parents. The kids had no idea what Jackson was doing to them was wrong. Jackson took many measures to make sure he would not get caught. He would convince the boys that it was their way of expressing love for each other, he would make them run drills in getting dressed quickly without making noise, and would tell the boys they would both go to jail if anyone ever found out. The boys were brainwashed and under the control of a monster hiding within this grown man.
After watching this documentary, it is clear that the child molestation accusations against Michael Jackson are true. It is astonishing that his fans continue to defend and support Jackson. The documentary consists of four hours of survivor testimony that is so graphic and specific that it is almost impossible to have been made up. Wade reflects, “To be graphic about it…a full, adult, grown-man-sized p*nis in my mouth…in a little 7-year-old’s mouth.” These visuals and the survivors reactions offers strong evidence against Michael Jackson.
This documentary exposes Jackson for the lies he fashioned for years. Yet, fans continue to be blinded by their idol. This is also reflected in fan’s positions on Michael Jackson’s facial reconstruction and skin color transformation. Evidence supports that Jackson modeled his face and bleached his skin to conform to the white race. Scholars iterate that Jackson exhibits an underlying desire to be part of the white “dominant” racial group. In fact, Quincy Jones, Jackson’s music producer even pointed out in a 2009 interview that he did not think Michael wanted to be black. Despite the evidence, crazy fans continue to believe Michael Jackson’s lies and are eluded from the truth. Jackson maintains a high moral and humanitarian facade. Neverland acts as an asylum for Jackson’s troubling character. Leaving Neverland unmasks the monster that Jackson truly is.