The first part of HBO’s controversial documentary Leaving Neverland aired last night, earning passionate and very divided reactions from its audience. But the post show, After Neverland, featuring Oprah Winfrey interviewing the film’s subjects (and MJ's accusers) might have drawn even more heated debate than the film itself.
During the three-hour documentary and in the post-game interview, Wade Robson and James Safechuck graphically described Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of them as minors.
A lot of what the pair of accusers revealed was not new — it has been in the news since the early 1990s, tried in court and investigated thoroughly by the FBI (who, as a result, cleared MJ of any criminal wrongdoing). But hearing the allegations directly from the mouths of the accusers is a different story, and only time will tell what impact the two-part series will have on Michael Jackson's legacy.
Social media was pretty divided when it came to the documentary, but perhaps even more divisive was Oprah Winfrey’s post-show interview with Robson and Safechuck.
The megastar talk show host and entrepreneur had previously acknowledged that she was “gonna get it” from the MJ hive. Still, her discussion with Robson and Safechuck prompted some thoughtful questions and had the two expand even more about what everyone saw in part one.
Once we finish watching #LeavingNeverland and our jaws are on the ground @Oprah is sitting down with Michael Jackson accusers to help us unpack what we watched. We are blessed 🙌🏾 #AfterNeverland https://t.co/O4GSUyKf5e— Chris Witherspoon (@WitherspoonC) February 27, 2019
At height of his stardom,#MichaelJackson began long-running relationships w/two boys, aged 7 and 10. Now in their 30's,#WadeRobson #JimmySafechuck detail how they were sexually abused by #Jackson.#HBO #LeavingNeverland #LeavingNeverlandPart1 #Oprah #OprahWinfrey #AfterNeverland pic.twitter.com/zVowF0JbsG— Jonathan Ⓥ 🏳️🌈 (@4EverJohnnyBoy) March 4, 2019
"This moment is bigger than Any One Person" - Oprah #AfterNeverland— Captain Cristobal (@CRS_One) March 4, 2019
I am appalled that @oprah someone who I admired and was a fan of would do this gutter tv special #AfterNeverland no evidence?no conviction?? Just destroying a legacy because 2 deadbeats want a check! I’m canceling @OWNTV @HBO @oprahmagazine @ww_us everything you are with Im done!— MotherDMavis (@MotherDMavis) February 27, 2019
They have realized that the revealed interviews are prerecorded.— Juan Vitales (@JJVitales) March 1, 2019
They will be afraid that someone will get out of the script and reveal all the lies.
Liars for money!#michaeljackson #MJInnocent #MichaelJacksonIsInnocent #HBO #LeavingNeverland #MJFam #MuteOprah #AfterNeverland pic.twitter.com/8PFFo7wmxW
such preposterous lies about Michael Jackson is beyond wrong. So this thread will dive into the history of Oprah and why the general public shouldn’t really find this interview credible because it was simply done with Oprah.— 🌩 (@triuxmph) March 3, 2019
@Oprah I am shocked to hear that Oprah Winfrey has turned on Michael Jackson after his death yet when he was alive she loved hanging out with him and being at Neverland and most importantly interviewing him. WTF OPRAH!!! 🤔😯😢😤🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬— Kala Talent 💋 (@KalaTalent) March 4, 2019
So Oprah is going to interview two proven liars with no actual evidence of their claims on the same week as Harvey Weinstein’s trial? Coincidence? I think not! Am I surprised? Unfortunately not. Michael Jackson has always been a scapegoat to the real abusers of Hollywood. https://t.co/hGNwssWfyN— ᐯanessa 🌹 (@unbotheredchica) March 2, 2019
Clearly, this film has folks divided. Part two of Leaving Neverland is slated to air Monday night (March 4) at 8 p.m. EST.
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR