Update: On her official site, Streisand clarified her remarks Saturday morning:
“I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words as printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking their truth.”
Living legend Barbra Streisand has provoked social media and social justice outrage with her observations of the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” about allegations that Michael Jackson sexually molested Wade Robson, now 36, and James Safechuck, now 41, when they were children and teens.
As part of a long interview in the The Times U.K., Streisand takes a unique approach. Most viewers either believe the accusers or do not, or decide the truth is unknowable. Streisand says she “absolutely” believes Robson and Safechuck, but expresses sympathy for Jackson.
Controversially, she says, “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
She goes on to say, “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard them say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
She summarizes her feelings about the doc, after saying her own impressions of Jackson were that he was “very sweet, very childlike,” by saying, “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 shows and the dancing and the hats?”
Meanwhile, Diana Ross tweeted her unqualified support for her old friend Jackson, calling him “A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.”
This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.
STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) March 23, 2019
Her sentiments were retweeted by choreographer Debbie Allen and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, among many others.