Michael Jackson apparently has a legion of zealous defenders, and they are coming down with a vengeance on social media against the two men — Wade Robson and James Safechuck — who were interviewed extensively in Leaving Neverland. The claim is that those who allege wrongdoing on Jackson’s part are simply exploiting and mischaracterizing behavior that reflected Jackson’s naivete and child-like innocence.
Please. A seven year old taking advantage of the naivete of a 30+ year old man? A child doesn’t lure a man into bed, and then initiate sexual activity. Hurling that accusation is as bad as Jackson’s abuse in the first place.
People refused to see what was right before our eyes when Jackson was flaunting his pedophilia, and a segment of his followers are continuing to explain away his visibly kinky behavior.
Two points in the documentary were most compelling to me. We now know much more about “grooming behavior”, in which pedophiles single out vulnerable children then cultivate not only the child but the family, progressively making deviant behavior feel more normal. That grooming pattern was evident in Jackson’s approach to both boys.
The other is the turnover in the boy at Jackson’s side. Pedophiles apparently have preferences for boys of a certain age, and when their target continues growing and developing, they ditch that child and acquire another at the “right” age. That pattern was also visible in Jackson, who changed boys about once a year.
Interesting to me, the actor Macaulay Culkin was one of Jackson’s boys. Culkin has denied every being sexually abused during his run at Jackson’s side.
The interesting question is what great talent and great deviancy mean for those who love Jackson’s music. I’ve never been an MJ fan, so I haven’t much skin in the game here. But for me, the Ick Factor, and the knowledge that while recording these favorite songs Jackson was also abusing little boys, would make the sound irretrievably tainted.