Who wouldn’t love an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey? For years, Winfrey has been able to secure noteworthy interviews as she is one of the most notable of her kind. However, while she is mostly loved by many, Winfrey is facing outstanding backlash for her participation in the HBO/OWN exclusive expose’ that follows another African-American superstar that fans are furious about.
Oprah Winfrey is arguably the most famous survivor of childhood sexual abuse in the world. Watch her intense interview with Michael Jackson’s accusers here: https://t.co/27R1C45H22 pic.twitter.com/fpDhjsTg5o— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 1, 2019
HBO announced a documentary aimed at exposing allegations against the late Michael Jackson called Leaving Neverland headed by two accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. It was later announced that Oprah Winfrey would conduct a one-hour interview following the documentary with both the alleged accusers as well as the film’s director.
Already incensed of the documentary’s creation, fans of Michael Jackson and a lot of Winfrey’s supporters found even more reason to be upset. However, some praised Oprah for her decision to give them a platform. Both Robson and Safechuck were known to defend the “Thriller” singer previously while under oath during his 2005 sexual abuse trial but would bring up accusations on Jackson years later.
Among the many who cried out in disdain for the media mogul’s involvement is Mo’Nique, who already harbors previous bad blood towards Winfrey. The vocal actress/comedian unleashed her criticism alongside her husband/manager Sidney Hicks on their Youtube podcast, Open Relationship.
Mo’Nique is clearly unhappy in what she feels, along with many others, that Winfrey’s intentions were impure and that the timing of this would occur years after his death and acquittal. “Here’s a man that was found not guilty in the eyes of the law. And you wait for 10 years after this man was deceased, to now do an interview with people who said they lied,” she said. “For me, it’s sad and disheartening. That man welcomed you in his home and you spoke of how beautiful, and all the love this man has shown children all over the world.”
The Oscar-winning Precious star went on to add, “When we’re calling someone a molester and they’re no longer here… Michael Jackson is not here to defend himself, which is a major problem. [He was] found not guilty… then you come back and you allow these two men to get on your platform and tell this story, and that man cannot defend himself, who does that?”
Mo’Nique then asks the question that many on social media wanted to be answered: “Was it right, or was it for ratings?”
@Oprah when you do one sided interviews with zero research- await the repercussions – also called Karma. You have been setup for huge disgrace and failure. Your trust level is at a possible zero forever…— @DTAFC (@truths_d) March 5, 2019
YOU WERE SAYING OPRAH? pic.twitter.com/oymplZTBbo— Gerardo David Muhammad (@GerardoDavidMu2) March 5, 2019
The news of Oprah’s participation and apparent co-sign of the film brought on calls for the Beloved star’s cancellation. Jackson’s older brother, Jermaine Jackson, also called out Winfrey for ignoring facts that were previously made aware of the case and attempting to use his name for personal gain.
“So many in media, [including Oprah], blindly taking #LeavingNeverland at face value, shaping a narrative uninterested in facts, proof, credibility. We faced similar ‘graphic’ claims + trial-by-media in ’05. Jury saw through it all. Trial-by-law proved Michael’s innocence long ago. Fact,” tweeted Jermaine.
So many in media, inc @Oprah, blindly taking #LeavingNeverland at face value, shaping a narrative uninterested in facts, proof, credibility. We faced similar “graphic” claims + trial-by-media in ’05. Jury saw through it all. Trial-by-law proved Michael’s innocence long ago. Fact.— Jermaine Jackson (@jermjackson5) March 4, 2019