The #MeToo Movement was supposed to give victims a voice. Could false accusers be the downfall of #TimesUp? Survivors think so.
#MeToo. #TimesUp. Finally, there seemed to be a movement that would become a voice for survivors of sexual abuse. A voice that would champion the oppressed and set justice in its rightful place. People on all platforms of social media were voicing their concerns and raising awareness. Some pointed to the long-lasting culture of shame many victims faced while speaking up. Others recounted how they too, were victims of abuse. Leaving Neverland, a film in which two men speak out about their experiences of sexual abuse, seemed to become the epitome of the movement. Finally, it seemed, the movement had provided a big enough platform for survivors. Finally, they could be heard. So it was no surprise that my newsfeed was filled with mentions of the film. After Leaving Neverland premiered at Sundance, it aired on HBO, streamed worldwide, and celebrities such as Ellen and Oprah applauded the accusers for speaking out. Had justice finally been served? In Leaving Neverland,Wade Robson and James Safechuck recounted the alleged abuse they went through as children by Michael Jackson. The director Dan Reed attempts to describe the effects of the alleged abuse on both Robson, Safechuck and their families, painting an emotional and horrifying picture. I, for one, felt sickened. The graphic details and the disturbing narratives of grooming and trauma made Leaving Neverland hard to watch. However, despite the shocking claims and the troubled expressions of the accusers something about Leaving Neverland didn’t sit right with me. Perhaps it was lack of hard evidence within the film, with no mention of any authorities siding with Wade and James’s given evidence. Or maybe it was the complete exclusion of any counter argument and other sources, with the only witnesses and interviewees being the Safechuck and Robson families.
Whatever it was, it propelled me to do a little more research regarding the backgrounds of the 2 accusers and take a look at direct evidence rather than just testimonies.