Reactions to the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” have been mixed, with some fans of the legendary pop star going as far as to file a defamation suit against the subjects of the film, while others feel Jackson’s legacy is forever tarnished by the allegations against him. Numerous celebrities have weighed in on the controversy since the film came out.
West, a fan of Jackson’s, who has stirred up plenty of controversy in his own right, has publically defended Jackson on multiple occasions. During one of his Sunday Sessions performances, he made an argument for separating the artist from the art, saying that whatever information comes out about the late King of Pop, people can still enjoy his music.
Culkin has been the frequent subject of speculation due to his childhood friendship with Jackson. However, Culkin has described their relationship as, “so normal and mundane.” He went on to say that many people question his relationship with Jackson or think it is weird, but that it “made sense.” Culkin is currently the godfather of Jackson’s daughter Paris.
Corey Feldman was also a friend of Jackson’s during his time as a child actor. Speaking to the Associated Press in 2019, he said that the allegations against Jackson, “could be true,” but didn’t match his experiences with the singer. He goes on to say that he doesn’t know of anyone from his group of friends who experienced abuse as a result of their relationship with Jackson.
After viewing the documentary, Wendy Williams told her audience on the “Wendy Williams Show,” that she didn’t “believe a word of anything in this documentary,” and that she didn’t think there was any “sexual touching” between Jackson and young boys.
Bill Maher did not speak directly about the accusations against Jackson but praised HBO, which also airs his show “Real Time,” for airing the documentary. He went so far as to say that Richard Plepler, who has since resigned, was the best boss he will ever have.
John Branca, a longtime attorney for Michael Jackson, has stated that the film portrays Jackson in a skewed light. He believes that if Jackson was still alive, he’d have sued HBO and won.
Fans and celebrities alike continue to be divided over Jackson’s legacy. Likely, his legacy will forever be linked both with his genius as a performer and with the allegations that followed him around for much of the last decade of his life.