According to THR, during the filming of Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland — which is a taped conversation between Winfrey, Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed — the media mogul praised the controversial documentary.
"I said, 'Dan, you were able to illustrate in these four hours what I've tried to explain in 2017," Winfrey remembered telling Redd after seeing the film, then added that she believes "this moment transcends Michael Jackson."
Winfrey echoed that she has been advocating for victims of child sexual abuse for many decades, as evident by the more than 200 episodes of her iconic talk show being dedicated to the epidemic.
Sources who were present at the taping of the interview revealed that Winfrey also brought up her close friend Gayle King, who recently interviewed Robson and Safechuck for CBS.
"I remember when Gayle's children were smaller and I would always talk about this subject, and she would tell me, 'My kids aren't going to let themselves be hurt. They're not going to let themselves be punished,'" Winfrey explained. "So many parents don't understand, it doesn't feel like hurt."
Jackson's estate has been very outspoken in its disapproval of the Leaving Neverland documentary, calling the film "a tabloid character assassination."
"The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact," the statement by Jackson's estate added. "Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family — that is the Jackson way. But we can't just stand by while this public lynching goes on. … Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made."
Reed responded to the estate's comments by saying, "It is a four-hour documentary by an experienced documentarian with a long track record in investigation and telling complex stories and this is a complex story. So I'd say it's beyond doubt a documentary. Anyone with any knowledge of that form would recognize a documentary."0comments
"A four-hour piece, is that a tabloid? I didn't characterize Jackson at all in the film — I think if you watch it you'll have noticed that it's a story about these two families and Jackson is an element of that story. But I don't seek to characterize him at all. I don't comment on Jackson. It's not a film about Michael. ... The film itself is an account of sexual abuse, how sexual abuse happens and then how the consequences play out later in life," he continued.
Part 1 of Leaving Neverland will premiere on Sunday, March 3, with Part 2 airing the following day on Monday, March 4. Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland will air immediately following Part 2.