Since the release of Leaving Neverland, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck level new allegations of sexual assault against Michael Jackson, the King of Pop’s nephew, TJ, has taken on the role of the mouthpiece of the family. According to TJ, his music career has placed him in the spotlight, which means people naturally ask questions about the allegations, and he claims he responds truthfully.
“I’m telling my experience, my life, and sharing it with the world,” he said during an interview with AllHipHop.
When pressed on Dan Reed’s controversial HBO documentary, TJ didn’t mince his words.
“It’s trash. It’s unfair. It’s a dangerous precedent to just be able to defame and say whatever you want against someone who’s no longer with us. I’m certain that if my uncle was here, we wouldn’t be in this position because he’d be able to defend himself. He’d have so much, even more, because there’s so much evidence out there that shows these guys aren’t the truth. He’d have his own personal stash that would completely discredit them even more so.”
During another interview this month, TJ said that the media has an agenda to tear down Jackson. He claims that this purported agenda is harming not just Jackson’s fans but people who have suffered from sexual abuse. The 41-year-old singer urged Jackson’s supporters to continue looking for the truth, doing their own research, and sharing what they find as far and wide as they can.
Jackson supporters who criticize Leaving Neverland suggest that the movie was timed after the late star’s death to profit off denigrating his legacy while he isn’t around to defend himself. According to the Jackson estate’s lawyers, John Branca and Howard Weitzman, the movie does not fairly approach the allegations. Branca stressed that no side is presented but Robson and Safechuck’s and claims that Reed was not interested in speaking to anybody else; Weitzman echoed Branca and said that the media business doesn’t value balanced views.
Despite criticism, Reed says that he stands by his controversial film. The Sun reports that the director was surprised by the “ferocity of the disbelief” in Robson and Safechuck’s accounts of abuse. He claims that upon the film’s release, the team received “hostile death” threats and emails disparaging him and his family.
For Reed, Robson, and Safechuck, the criticism appears to be worth it — Leaving Neverland won the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, despite the stream of attacks on the film’s credibility.