Barbra Streisand, the legendary singer, is trying to walk back some very bizarre comments over the weekend in which she seemed to attack the victims of Michael Jackson’s child sexual abuse. BBC News reports that she spoke to a newspaper and said that while she accepts what the victims said, she didn’t think all of this attention was merited because what Jackson did “didn’t kill” the victims.
Of course, Streisand’s callous comments ignore the horrific effects that abuse can have on a victim, especially prolonged abuse of a child by a trusted and loved adult. Sex abuse can lead to a circle of sexual abuse, it can lead to suicide from the victims or the victim’s family members, and comments like Streisand’s only make these problems worse.
By: Raymond Bourne
After the sordid comments went viral, the singer tried her best to walk back what she said with an Instagram apology. She wrote about how “profoundly sorry” she was “for any pain or misunderstanding” that her comments may have brought.
Leaving Neverland, an HBO documentary, resurfaced past allegations from the early 2000s about the late pop singer and king that he molested some children at his Neverland ranch. Two men featured in the documentary were Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who were molested by Jackson repeatedly over a few years when they were kids. The singer abused their trust and how much they looked up to him. He abused their innocence and lack of knowledge of what would constitute abuse. He tampered with them so they would lie during court testimony in order to protect him and so that they would feel like their lives would be over if anyone found out their secret. The victims of course did nothing wrong but were made to feel as if they did something bad.
Streisand did say that she “absolutely” thinks Jackson molested the kids.
Things got worse though when she started to justify his actions, saying that “his sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
She added that “You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say [Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.” Victims, especially children, often don’t realize they’re being abused, love their abusers, or have other reasons to stay with them. Abuse is abuse no matter what.
Streisand blames “the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.”
Her full Instagram apology statement: “I am profoundly sorry for any pain or misunderstanding I caused by not choosing my words more carefully about Michael Jackson and his victims, because the words printed do not reflect my true feelings. I didn’t mean to dismiss the trauma these boys experienced in any way. Like all survivors of sexual assault, they will have to carry this for the rest of their lives. I feel deep remorse and I hope that James and Wade know that I truly respect and admire them for speaking the truth.”