HBO's 'Leaving Neverland' is a devastating account of the lingering consequences of sexual abuse
Invariably, the question arises any time accusations of past sexual abuse are raised against a powerful man: “Well, why did they wait so long to come forward then?”
It is always framed as persuasive proof of the victim’s dishonesty. Wouldn’t an honest person have spoken up sooner? What did they have to hide? What are they trying to get out of it now?
But what the past couple years of reckoning have shown us, and what Leaving Neverland now demonstrates to devastating effect, is that it’s not nearly so simple.
Structurally, Leaving Neverland is straightforward. Dan Reed’s four-hour, two-part documentary is built around in-depth interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who say they were abused by Michael Jackson as children. Their separate but similar tales unfold in chronological order, supplemented by archival photos and footage and sit-downs with their mothers, wives, and siblings. Read more…