Oprah Winfrey insists the hate she received for interviewing Michael Jackson’s accusers following the broadcast of documentary Leaving Neverland was worth it.
In early March (19), the media mogul sat down for an interview with Wade Robson and James Safechuck for After Neverland, a special which aired directly after the conclusion of Leaving Neverland, in which they accused the late King of Pop of abusing them when they were children.
During an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Wednesday (10Apr19), she explained that all the “hateration” she received for doing the special was worth it if it helps people understand the patterns of sexual abuse.
“When I saw that documentary, I realised that a lot of people are going to be triggered by watching it, and a lot of people will not understand what the pattern is,” she said, adding that she’d done “217 shows trying to get people to understand that it’s not about one person, that it is about the pattern.”
“People call it molestation, but there is a big seducing that goes on… and that was important enough for me to take the hateration for,” she continued.
Weeks after the broadcast, Jackson biographer Mike Smallcombe claimed that Safechuck couldn’t have been abused at the Neverland Ranch train station because it hadn’t been built when he was there.
Oprah, who has experienced sexual abuse herself, addressed the alleged discrepancies, telling Trevor, “When you put a girl on the witness stand and she can’t remember was it Thursday or Wednesday, it’s automatically discredited… When you’re in the midst of trauma, terrible things are happening to you. You may not remember the exact time… If you can’t remember the day and the time and la la la, everybody’s like, ‘OK, guess it never happened.'”
The documentary’s director Dan Reed, who appeared on Oprah’s special alongside Safechuck, has also maintained the testimonies are accurate and insisted he was still visiting Neverland after the train station was built.
Oprah’s comments come shortly after it was reported she had distanced herself from the documentary by deleting her tweets about it and removing the interviews from her YouTube channel. A representative for TV network HBO was also forced to deny they had pulled the two-part documentary earlier this week.