People are criticising Barbra Streisand for her comments about Michael Jackson's accusers

People are criticising Barbra Streisand for her comments about Michael Jackson's accusers

Since the 'Leaving Neverland' documentary appeared at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, there has been responses from all corners of the world. When the four-hour production, which features the testimony of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, aired on television - everyone had an opinion to express on the alleged abuse.

We've seen radio stations choose not to play the 'king of pop' any longer, The Simpsons' showrunner recall Jackson's guest episode and even claim Jackson used it to "groom boys", Corey Feldman speak about his experience growing up with Jackson, and the Jackson Estate claim that the documentary's facts just don't add up.

The amount of public figures that have entered the fray is surprising too. Aside from the late singer's family, Macaulay Culkin has chimed in, along with Mike Tyson, T.I. and now Barbra Streisand.

In an interview with The Times published this week, the actress and singer spoke about various happenings in her life, but also, at one point, ventured into the divisive topic of Michael Jackson's allegations of sexual abuse.

She came out in support of the victims - to a point. While she said that she "absolutely" believes the accounts given by Safechuck and Robson of the abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of Jackson, she also described the accused as "very sweet, very childlike" and blamed the parents of the victims for what happened.

Given that she believes that these instances of sexual abuse actually happened, many were taken aback by how she downplayed the trauma this would have had on children.

"His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has," she said.

"You can say “molested”, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.

"It’s a combination of feelings. I feel bad for the children. 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 response from people online hasn't been pretty. Streisand has effectively angered both those who believe that Jackson is innocent and those that believe he is guilty - as she puts forward the idea that because Safechuck and Robson have families of their own, the abuse must have not had much of an effect on them.

Many were just shocked to see her make this statement.

While others were offended by the way she spoke of potential abuse survivors.

Dan Reed, the director of the Leaving Neverland documentary, even commented on what she said.

It seems that Streisand has managed to say exactly the wrong thing to frustrate both sides of the debate.