Louis Theroux slams 'willfully blind' people who are defending Michael Jackson after documentary release
On HBO's four hour documentary Leaving Neverland, James Safechuck and Wade Robson accuse the late musician of molesting them and others when they were young.
Safechuck, who starred in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson in 1987, says that at age ten he had sexual relations with the singer in various rooms at the Neverland Ranch. During that same year, Robson says he was invited to the estate at age five with his family, and Jackson convinced him to stay five extra days after his family left. The sexual abuse allegedly started that week, and continued for seven years.
After the documentary aired, Robson, Safechuck, and the film's director, Dan Reed, received death threats. Michael Jackson's family slammed the documentary, and are seeking to sue HBO. Major radio stations in New Zealand and Canada have pulled Michael Jackson's music from rotation, claiming that songs do not currently match their audiences preferences. Meanwhile, Jackson fans continue to defend the singer, arguing his innocence.
Louis Theroux, the revered documentary filmmaker known for his exposes on Westboro Baptist Church, the Klu Klux Klan and Scientology, recently weighed in the Jackson allegations. "I had been investigating the case for quite a while and knew enough on the subject to view it at that time – as I do now – that he had unhealthy interests in children," he told The Independent. "But I didn’t have enough victim testimony to put forward a forensic case to him."
At the time, Theroux said that he had not seen Leaving Neverland. However, he agreed the sexual allegations deserve a closer look, noting that Jackson's fanbase can be pretty forgiving. "For many people, Michael Jackson was more a religious figure than a celebrity one," he said. "You would see Michael Jackson-themed nights on reality TV shows, and then, if you cared to look, it was evident he had unhealthy interests in children."
He continued, "Even last year, the National Portrait Gallery had an exhibition on Michael Jackson in which they didn’t address anything to do with the victims, which was such a dereliction. I’m not one of those people who thinks he should be muted, but you should call it what it is."
On Thursday, presumably after watching the HBO documentary, Theroux slammed "willfully blind" fans of The King Of Pop on Twitter. "If you can’t see that Michael Jackson was a paedophile after watching @danreed1000's film you are being wilfully blind," he tweeted. "And if you are campaigning against it you are actively colluding in the silencing of victims."
Jackson was accused of pursuing sexual relationships with young boys for decades, but always denied the charges. Former child stars Corey Feldman and Macaulay Culkin have defended the singer, claiming their relationships with him were not inappropriate. Time will tell if Robson and Safechuck's allegations turn the tide against the King Of Pop.