Rose McGowan tells Michael Jackson fans to accept sexual abuse claims

'Why on Earth would anybody want to come out and expose themselves to so much hate?'

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 06 March 2019 10:18
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Trailer for new HBO documentary about Michael Jackson abuse victims Leaving Neverland

Following the broadcast of Leaving Neverland in the United States, actor and activist Rose McGowan has spoken about the allegations presented against Michael Jackson.

The documentary centres on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, accusing Jackson of grooming, sexually assaulting and raping them as children.

Speaking to the BBC, McGowan – a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement – was asked whether she believed Robson and Safechuck’s testimonies.

“Why on Earth would anybody want to come out and expose themselves to so much hate if they weren’t trying to regain some control in their own life? Control that has been robbed and stolen?” she said.

“I’m sorry your hero was a bad man, I’m really sorry your hero was bad. It doesn’t mean you can’t listen to or enjoy his music. You just have to understand that people are really complex, and this person had a particular complexity that hurt lots of others.”

McGowan went on to speak about being asked to take part in a discussion on separating the art and the artist, adding that she felt unable to debate the subject.

“I would be sitting in a room by myself if I only wanted good people to deliver me this entertainment. But it doesn’t make it OK, once we learn about it, for them to continue their careers necessarily.

“But for their past works, it is what it is. I don’t want to strip Michael Jackson lovers away from his music.

“I will say you can look at people and they can have had done something bad. It’s like having a family member, that you’re like ‘I love them, but they did a really bad thing’ and we have to wrestle with that and have a conversation about that. It’s a nuanced conversation. It’s not black and white.”

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HBO broadcast the first part of Leaving Neverland on the 4 March. The documentary airs in two parts in the UK on Channel 4, on 6 and 7 March at 9pm. Read more about the documentary here.

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