Most people’s reaction to the documentary Leaving Neverland was swayed by mass peer pressure. Watching an overly-long documentary preceded by a slew of celebrities and media pundits feeding the public a pre-decided response isn’t how we go about dealing with accusations, especially ones this serious. When it comes to any allegation, we aren’t supposed to react to it emotionally without listening to the evidence, judging someone based solely on the severity of the accusation. In contemporary society the media has slowly created certain crimes (terrorism, paedophila, and more recently male to female sexual assault) which automatically assumes guilt. On the basis of “there’s no smoke without fire” the rumour or claim tarnishes the accused as soon as an accuser appears on the scene, without even a shred of evidence, the mainstream media then sync their opinions and broadcast it to the masses knowing full-well that their viewpoint is generally accepted. There shouldn’t even be the concept of a “trial by media” but these days that’s exactly what we have and we let it overpower and subdue the rule of law. In any democratic, free society, we have to let the police investigators and the court system deal with accusations, we have to allow the law to take its course. Sure, the judicial system has its fair share of problems; corrupt cops and judges, biased juries, and prejudice against people without money (not to mention people of colour) but this system however flawed is what we have and we’re supposed to wait for it to determine guilt (after the presenting of evidence) before we label someone a criminal. I thought this was obvious but the fact that I have to point this out in an opening paragraph about a TV documentary shows how much the notion of law and order has devolved over the years.
Given these aforementioned “unquestionable” set of allegations, Dan Reed, a mysterious and hacky director who is responsible for this so-called documentary, seems to be overly obsessed with acts of terror and paedophilia – you know – the emotive, automatic-guilt-assuming charges that come with a built-in audience with a predetermined opinion? Reed’s filmography include various pieces of dross rated in the 2 to 3 out of 10 area of IMDb; Three Days Of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks, The Ground Zero Mosque and The 9/11 Liars. He has also been responsible for something called The Paedophile Hunters… wow, what a résumé. This walking cue ball now adds Leaving Neverland to his list of one-sided documentaries, and if you’ve not watched it yet, I can only describe his latest work as 4 hours of anecdotes disguised as evidence.
Now I’m not here to review this documentary, people are free to make one-sided pieces of art whether they have an axe to grind or a point of view to share. My issue lies with the public, who en masse have decided someone’s guilt based on moody lighting and stirring music punctuated by photos of Michael Jackson looking “weird”. Now like I said; I’m not here to review this overrated documentary, either artistically or evidentially, if you want that, I suggest you go to YouTube.
Leaving Neverland is constructed in a way as to elicit an emotive response from the viewer. Just by sheer length, given the viewpoint, the documentary becomes hypnotic, and after spending a 3rd of your day watching two men telling the camera what allegedly happened to them without any rebuttal, as a viewer you can’t help but be overwhelmed with depressive descriptions. With the addition of the lead-up which included masses of celebrities labelling Michael Jackson a “paedophile” simply because they attended Sundance, the public were essentially brainwashed before they even watched the programme. Among the anti-Jackson celebrities, there were other fake documentary makers such as Louis Theroux disguising their opinions as fact, even going as far as saying people with opposing viewpoints were complicit in the alleged crime…
Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) March 07, 2019
It’s a sad day indeed when the only celebrity, presenter, or journalist talking sense is Piers Morgan…
Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 07, 2019
Michael Jackson was a very weird guy, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t apply the usual journalistic rigour to suc… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 07, 2019
Oprah Winfrey hosted a strange interview with the alleged victims as well as the documentary maker himself. Of course this was at the behest of an abuse victim who filled an auditorium with other abuse victims whilst “interviewing” alleged abuse victims James Safechuck and Wade Robson… no bias there. Aside from her obviously prejudiced show (Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland) which essentially fed off the entire circus by enticing an angry mob to her OWN network, Winfrey’s magazine was on Instagram trying to convince everyone to believe a documentary rather than a couple of court cases and evidence. Her poisonous Insta post was this horrible attempt at cajoling the masses against the deceased star, distastefully telling the public to bury Michael Jackson’s artistic creations along with any fond memories they have of him…
Her post included the following caption…
“Up until a few days ago, OprahMag.com’s digital director @ariannagab was a Michael Jackson defender and had go-to lines about separating the artist from the man or how there was never any real proof that he abused children. But then @oprah and #LeavingNeverland finally convinced her to let go of the King of Pop. Her Aha-moment: Leaving Neverland is much bigger than Michael Jackson. It’s bigger than Michael Jackson’s fans, bigger than defending the soundtrack to your childhood. Instead, it is about the millions of people in this world who never got to have a childhood because of the sexual abuse they experienced before their young brains were even developed enough to know what was occurring.”
…So because there’s millions of unconnected abuse victims around the world, we have to “say goodbye” to at least four classic solo albums, several memorable LPs with the Jackson 5, a unique movie, some breathtaking concerts, some of the best dancing ever seen, and decades of memories of one of the best musicians and performers of all time, simply because two men decided to tell “their story” not to the police, not to the FBI but to a bald twat documentary maker? What fucking logic. This kind of skewed thinking then directly led to an actual call to remove Michael Jackson’s music from all platforms.
Remember after September 11th when all depictions of the twin towers were removed from films and television shows? Now that more than a decade and a half has passed since that event, doesn’t that seem over-reactionary? Doesn’t it now sound like an absurd thing to do? Well, if you think it does, why now do the same thing with Jackson? Just as they did with 9/11 and images of the twin towers, The Simpsons are now pulling episodes featuring Jackson’s voice from syndication and I assume from future physical releases and streaming services. Can the creators of that shite cartoon be any more cunty?
Imagine if this concept were to be transposed to everyday people. So if there was a rumour that the decorator who’d wallpapered your hallway was a rapist, all of a sudden you’d have to remove it all or paper over it. Does that not sound ridiculous? Well despite this reaction being totally moronic, Jackson has now been banned from certain radio stations. These channels have removed his music from their playlists after, remember: a divisive documentary with an obvious bias, not evidence. Basically, a piece of art is being banned because another piece of art said so!
Let’s face it; in music there’s a truckload of wrong-doers out there and with society’s ever-changing morals, are we to slowly get rid of masses of art under the guise of criminality, which lets face it, has no bearing on someone’s creations? If you dislike someone by all means air your opinion and stop buying their products but don’t call for their work to be hidden away, you bunch of demented, book-burning mentalists. And if you absolutely have to act like a fascist, please don’t conveniently forget about all the other alleged nonces out there that you love so much. Apparently these groomers and paedophiles aren’t as “bad” as Michael Jackson; Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Bill Wyman and by extension The Rolling Stones, Pete Townsend and by extension The Who, Ted Nugent, and what about David Bowie or Steven Tyler?
And what about other sectors of entertainment? Victor Salva’s films aren’t banned despite him being convicted of child sexual abuse and child pornography, and if we’re going to ban stuff based on allegations rather than a court’s involvement, why not ban the work of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? And what about Rob Lowe and all his crap output? Now I have to point out, I don’t want anything banned, I’m just making you aware of the inconsistencies by the public and the people in charge which I can’t help but see as ethnically prejudiced.
It’s actually blinkered not to see this situation as somewhat racially biased, I mean remember the comment by Safechuck that Jackson’s hair felt like a “Brillo Pad”? That for me proved not only that he’s a tad racist, but also that he’s never touched a black person’s hair, let alone Jackson’s. And whilst on the topic of racism, remember Jackson’s ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley who said Michael Jackson would be “hanging from a tree” if the accusations of child abuse were true (wow, how Carolyn Donham of her). The idea that a black man would be lynched if he committed crimes that a white man would be simply charged with (and then forgotten about) is a scary idea.
If you’re going to blacken the character of someone, at least do the same with all the white guys out there. The same way that Muslim or Asian grooming gangs are looked upon as somehow worse than Jimmy Saville and the Catholic church, constantly brought up again and again in news items, I can’t help but feel that certain people want Michael Jackson’s alleged crimes looked upon as worse than his white counterpart’s.
Following the #MeToo movement, we’re now at a very crucial juncture when it comes to allegations; if every victim is called a liar before we hear (and see) their evidence you can see how that would prevent justice from being exercised but similarly, if every accusation is believed, it is also detrimental to the concept of law. We’re not supposed to do either, we’re supposed to let the courts sort these cases out but apparently these days all you need is a few hacks, a couple of sellouts, and the gullible public and the burden of proof gets thrown out of the window. It’s a dangerous precedent to be swayed by the mainstream media and social media rather than actual proof. We’ve even stopped saying “alleged” before naming names of alleged perpetrators, people who have yet to be convicted of anything all because an angry Twitter mob tells you to. This undermines the criminal justice system and should never be allowed to happen.
This culture of siding with the victim is the complete opposite to what a modern society is supposed to be. The assumption that anybody coming forward with an allegation couldn’t possibly be lying is simply ridiculous. From Jussie Smollett to Roxanne Pallet, people sometimes make things up because they crave stardom, money, or because they’re psychotic, but whatever the reason, if we overreact to everything as certain celebrities did with Smollett’s hate crime allegations, then when they turn out to be alleged lies, this chips away at the credibility of future genuine victims. And when you rush to side with every single accuser of sexual assault, sometimes they turn out to be the accused too (Asia… ahem… Argento). Doesn’t that make all of you look stupid?
On social media, people are usually blowing like a windsock on the topic of the latest “evil” celeb, and with the recent Johnny Depp lawsuit “revelations” folk changed their tune quicker than you can say “physical abuser”… “He’s guilty, let’s boycott his movies!”… “He’s innocent, let’s un-boycott them!”… “I knew he was innocent!”… “I knew she was lying!”… For fuck’s sake, maybe don’t base your opinions on what’s trending!
On a side note, Leaving Neverland also added to the idea of the “innocence of children” which, let’s face it, is an extremely hypocritical concept. Remember that everybody under the age of 16 is a child who doesn’t know what they’re doing and therefore they’re completely innocent… that is until they commit a crime that’s heinous enough for the public to deem that particular child not a child (remember Jamie Bulger’s killers for instance?). So what is it? Are all children innocent or just some? I mean if Michael Jackson had molested Jon Venables and Robert Thompson would everybody be okay with grooming and paedophilic rape? And speaking of grooming, apparently if you’re a girl under 16 who’s white you’re definitely the victim of groomers but if you’re a brown girl under the age of 16, you know exactly what you’re doing and you’re not groomed, you’re complicit in a crime to the point you can be made stateless. But I digress.
People assume that the media, especially the news media are incontrovertible, that they wouldn’t possibly report on serious crimes without proof. But every time you think this way, remember that ITN as well as other news outlets character-assassinated Christopher Jefferies in regards to the murder of Joanna Yates. I also ask you to recall the way that the BBC presented the police raid on Cliff Richard’s property, essentially assuming guilt, but that too came back to bite them in their TV-licensed arse. Both of these “strange-looking” men were innocent but that didn’t stop the masses from jumping to conclusions based on manipulation by the mainstream media. By adding aesthetic embellishments and carefully choosing your imagery, it’s quite easy to influence and control your audience. The question is: is that what’s happened with Leaving Neverland? Well, with the non-stop propaganda that accompanied this film (propaganda that ignored the lack of evidence) I think it’s a safe bet.
So are these two men; Wade Robson and James Safechuck telling the truth? It’s possible. Could they be lying? It’s also possible. The truth is we outsiders don’t know. You shouldn’t be banning Michael Jackson’s music or pulling doves out of a cage and throwing them into the air. What I will say is that the court had two attempts at justice but they failed, once because Wade Robson himself testified in defence of Michael Jackson. This didn’t happen when he was a child and whilst he was “scared” of the consequences, it happened when he was an adult. Wade swore under oath that Jackson never did anything sexual to him and let’s point out that this testimony directly affected the case of another potential victim. So when he had the chance at actual justice he apparently lied but now we’re told to believe an ex-liar – the things he’s saying now are not lies – because now they’re accompanied not by new evidence, but by a sombre piano score and the backing of celebrity victims, not to mention a plethora of bandwagon-jumpers. Is that what justice looks like these days? Justice is supposed to be blind, not deaf and dumb.
Leaving Neverland The Fuck Alone.