While I didn’t wake up this morning and think “oh gee, I wonder if Barbra Streisand has any bizarre and terrible takes on the Michael Jackson sexual abuse allegations”, a lot can change in a couple of hours, and now here we are.
The singer is currently catching a lot of heat thanks to an interview with The Times, in which she spoke about the recent documentary Leaving Neverland, saying that while she believes victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the alleged abuse still “didn’t kill them.”
When prompted to speak about Jackson and the ongoing accusations against him, Streisand said said that she blamed the parents of his alleged victims for allowing them to get in bed with the “very sweet” and “childlike” singer, saying:
“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has … You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard 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.”
When asked how she feels about the overall situation, she said:
“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.”
Many took specific issue with Streisand’s flippant comments about how the alleged abuse “didn’t kill” the victims, who were “thrilled” to be there. One of these people was Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed, who asked “did you really say that?”
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 22, 2019
Alexander McCall of NPR also spoke out about the “outrageous and perplexing” comments, saying “you can’t simultaneously say you believe accusers AND say it wasn’t the accused’s fault.”
Barbra Streisand, who is typically fairly active on social media, has not yet commented on the backlash, but we’ll just go ahead and assume there’s some sort of carefully-worded clarification coming down the pipeline in the next few hours.