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Oprah Says Michael Jackson Doc Was "Important Enough to Take the Hateration"

Emma Dibdin
Photo credit: Comedy Central

From Oprah Magazine

  • Oprah discussed her support of HBO’s Michael Jackson documentary series Leaving Neverland in a new interview on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show.
  • “I never wavered,” Oprah told Trevor Noah of her support for the controversial series, which featured men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who accuse Jackson of child sexual abuse. “It was important enough for me to take the hateration.”

In a new interview, Oprah discussed and reiterated her support for HBO’s documentary series Leaving Neverland, which explores two allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson. The series saw two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, accusing Jackson of sexually abusing them as children, and immediately sparked intense backlash online from fans of Jackson and from the Jackson estate.

“When I first saw that documentary, I realized a lot of people were going to get triggered watching it, and that a lot of people will not understand what the pattern is,” Oprah told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show last night. “Because I had done 217 shows [on The Oprah Winfrey Show] trying to get people to understand that it’s not about one person, it’s about the pattern, it’s about the seduction. People called it molestation but there is a big seducing that goes on and the pattern of that seducing. And that was important enough to me to take the hateration.”

Noah asked whether Oprah had ever wavered in her beliefs, particularly when the documentary’s director Dan Reed conceded that there was an issue with its timeline of alleged abuse. “I have not wavered,” she responded, and went on to make a powerful statement about the reality of what happens when a victim has to testify or recall painful events that have happened to them.

“You know why I have not wavered? I’ve had girls at my school who were sexually assaulted and abused. And I have never won a case, and the reason I have never won a case is because when you put a girl on the witness stand and she can’t remember if it was Thursday or Wednesday, it’s automatically discredited. When you’re in the midst of trauma, you may not remember the exact time.” She added that if a victim is unable to remember the day and the time an alleged assault happened, “everyone’s like ‘well, okay, I guess it never happened.’ I’ve been through that, so, no.”

Last month, Oprah hosted a conversation with Robson, Safechuck and director Reed for an after-show titled Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland, which was taped before a live audience of sexual abuse survivors. "After the attention is no longer on this film, this is something I will be dealing with for the rest of my life," Safechuck told Oprah during that interview. "Forgiveness is not a line that you cross-it's a road that you take."

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