Yikes. Hollywood star Barbra Streisand is under fire after making some very controversial comments about the late Michael Jackson‘s child sex abuse allegations. The pop icon’s past has been under scrutiny ever since HBO released Leaving Neverland, a documentary that features interviews by two of his accusers. During a recent interview, Barbra, 76, weighed in on the matter and she came to Jackson’s defense — and her comments did not sit well with fans, so she had to issue an apology.
Even though the Funny Lady actress said that she “absolutely” believed Jackson’s accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, she seemed to suggest that what they have allegedly endured was not all that bad in the long run.
“You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck] say, they were thrilled to be there,” Barbra told the Times’ Evening Standard. “They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
She also commented on the “Man in the Mirror” singer and his alleged sexual desires. “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” she added.
Barbra went on to admit that she had a “combination of feelings” on the matter. “I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him,” the “Memory” singer said. “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 shoes and the dancing and the hats?”
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 22, 2019
Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed took to Twitter to share his reaction to Barbra’s comments. “It didn’t kill them,” @BarbraStreisand did you really say that?! #LeavingNerverland,” he wrote.
Fans also chimed in. “For all survivors of sexual abuse, I am appalled by the ignorance of Barbra Streisand. Those were kids that were manipulated by a grown man. #BarbraStreisand #survivors,” one Twitter user wrote, and another commented, “@BarbraStreisand with your thought process on Michael Jackson…. then does the same apply to #metoo ??? Do you tell women who have been assaulted, oh you are fine, you lived and you kinda enjoyed it?!?! You are a sick MF.”
Hours after receiving backlash, Barbra issued an apology on Instagram. “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,” she wrote. “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.”
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