Opinions about Oprah Winfrey’s decision to sit down and interview Wade Robson and James Safechuck of the forthcoming, highly controversial documentary Leaving Neverland, has been mixed. In the HBO documentary, the men share their stories of alleged abuse by superstar Michael Jackson after meeting the singer when they were young children. Oprah’s interview special, After Neverland, will air immediately following the conclusion of the documentary, and in a preview, Oprah explains to the audience why she decided to continue the conversation.
“In 25 years of the Oprah show, I taped 217 episodes on sexual abuse,” Oprah shared. “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, but for me, this moment transcends Michael Jackson. It is much bigger than any one person. This is a moment in time that allows us to see this societal corruption. It’s like a scourge on humanity and it’s happening right now. It’s happening in families. We know it’s happening in churches and in school and sports teams everywhere.”
In a second clip, Oprah speaks directly to Robson, asking him why he continued on having a personal relationship with Jackson after allegedly being sexually abused. Robson replied “I had no understanding of being abused. I loved Michael. And all the times that I testified and the many, many times that I gushed over him publicly in interviews over wherever it may be, that was from a real place…while never forgetting any of the sexual details that happened between us….but having no understanding that it was abuse, and having no concept in my mind that anything about Michael could ever be bad. Anything that Michael did was right, to me, for so many years.”