Barbra Streisand is the latest celebrity to offer her thoughts and impressions regarding the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, and her comments have ruffled a few feathers.
In an interview published by The Times on Friday, the singer and actress initially expressed belief in the victims’ allegations, noting that the documentary was “too painful.”
Streisand went on to say that she felt bad for the children, and blamed “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?”
However, the icon did not shy away from conveying a measure of sympathy for the late pop star. She said that Jackson’s “needs” may have been a result of his childhood or his biological makeup.
“You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard [them] say [an adult Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Streisand admitted in the interview that she found it somewhat difficult reconciling Jackson’s alleged actions with the artist that she once knew, calling it a “combination of feelings.”
She noted that she once declined a request from Jackson to duet with him on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Streisand recalls that the few times she met him, he came across as “very sweet” and “childlike.”
Streisand also remarked on the #MeToo movement, and labeled it powerful. However, she added that it would cause a lot of women from being hired, saying that men who were afraid of sexual harassment accusations would remain hesitant.
She went on to cite her gender as the reason behind her Best Director Oscar snub for Prince of Tides in 1991. Streisand is the only woman to win a Golden Globe for directing, for 1983’s Yentl.
“It had seven Academy award nominations for the top awards, like best picture and best screenplay, and then not to be nominated as best director! I thought, ‘Oh my God, this must have to do with being a woman,’ but it didn’t make me stop.”
The award-winning performer said that while #MeToo has improved things in certain ways, she firmly stated that without the aspect of her legacy that occurred before the inception of the movement, she would not be who she is today.
Jackson was accused of molestation by Robson and Safechuck in the recently aired HBO documentary. The cable channel is being sued by his estate for $100 million, with the estate maintaining the singer’s innocence.