The two-part HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” has put renewed scrutiny on sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. But in the eyes of Oprah Winfrey, the cultural fallout will go far beyond the pop star, according to NBC News.
“For me, this moment transcends Michael Jackson. It is much bigger than any one person,” Winfrey said during an hour-long special that aired after the conclusion of “Neverland” on Monday night. “This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption.”
Winfrey, who revealed on her talk show more than 30 years ago that she was sexually abused as a child, was joined by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two accusers at the center of “Neverland,” and Dan Reed, the film’s director. She praised Reed for his approach to the project.
“I taped 217 episodes [of “Oprah”] on sexual abuse. I tried and tried and tried to get the message across to people that sexual abuse was not just abuse. It was also sexual seduction,” Winfrey said, adding that Reed was “able to illustrate in these four hours what I tried to explain in 217.”
"Neverland" is largely made up of unflinching testimony from Robson, 36, and Safechuck, 40, who both claim they were befriended by Jackson and then physically abused by him when they were children.