Barbra Streisand gets ‘canceled’ over remarks about Michael Jackson’s alleged victims

BTW

Barbra Streisand has put her feelings about Michael Jackson and HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary out into the world, and many are wishing she hadn’t.

Allegations of Jackson’s sexual misconduct with children have hardly been a secret over the years, dating back to 1993 when he was first accused of sexual abuse by a 13-year-old boy. Although criminal charges were never filed in 1993—and Jackson was likewise acquitted in the 2005 case, People v. Jackson—the documentary has brought renewed interest into the subject. And hearing the firsthand accounts of alleged victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck have now made it difficult to continue to turn a blind eye to Jackson’s behavior.

Fans are understandably having a difficult time reckoning with this new information, and grappling whether or not it’s still OK to enjoy the music from a man who may have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Of course, whether or not one chooses to believe the testimony of Robson and Safechuck may color an individual’s feelings on the issue—but it’s probably safe to say that Streisand, of all people, has come up with the absolute worst take on the whole thing.

In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Streisand confessed that she “absolutely” believes that both men were telling the truth about their experiences with Jackson, but like, it was probably fine.

“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has,” she said. “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [the grown-up Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

The 76-year-old singer-songwriter went on to say that she has “a combination of feelings” about what transpired and places the bulk of the blame on the parents of the alleged victims.

“I feel bad for the children. I feel bad for him,” she said. “I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.”

While the parents definitely do shoulder some of the blame, so does the literal (alleged) child molester, so Streisand’s remarks are going over about as well as you’d imagine. Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed was one of the first to call out Streisand, tweeting out what’s in all of our heads right now: “Did you really say that?”

Others also jumped into the fray to express similar sentiments. There are also jokes: Twitter mobs come down hard and fast, and at least this one is self-aware.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I cancel Barbra Streisand,” writer Alan Henry tweeted.

Others are pointing out that Streisand is a well-known eccentric. She’s cloned her dog and had a private shopping mall built in her house.

Streisand has yet to comment on the dumpster fire her comments ignited, but we should probably expect a formal apology at any moment, now.

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Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.