Following the release of HBO’s controversial “Leaving Neverland” documentary and the backlash that followed, Paris Jackson has said it isn’t her “role” to defend her father.
The two-part documentary details the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who claim that legendary pop star Michael Jackson routinely molested them during their childhoods. The film has sparked a flurry of debate and criticism online, but the late singer’s 20-year-old daughter, who has defended him against molestation claims in the past, doesn’t seem to have any plans to wade into the fracas this time around. After a fan commented about her lack of public statements on the polarizing film, she explained why she’s chosen to remain largely silent in a tweet on Thursday.
“there’s nothing i can say that hasn’t already been said in regards to defense. taj is doing a perfect job on his own. and i support him,” she said, referencing her cousin and Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson who, in addition to speaking out against the documentary in interviews, is reportedly planning to film a documentary of his own to counter the claims made in “Leaving Neverland.”
“but that’s not my role,” she continued. “i’m just tryna get everyone to chill out and go with the flow, be mellow and think about the bigger picture. that’s me.”
Paris, who signed with a top modeling agency in 2017 and who has been featured in magazines like Vanity Fair, previously slammed reports that she was anxious about how the film would affect her career in a tweet last week that has since been deleted, People reports.
“I actually haven’t made any statements yet, especially regarding how it affects my work life. you guys are reaching a bit. at least this wasn’t a disgusting and attacking article though,” she reportedly wrote.
Jackson, who died in 2009, was acquitted on child molestation charges in 2005 and maintained his innocence throughout his life. The release of “Leaving Neverland” has proved a sore spot for the Jackson estate, who filed a lawsuit against HBO last month accusing them of disparaging Jackson by airing the film and, in the process, violating a decades old contract.
A number of Jackson’s remaining family members have also gone to the media to defend his name and his legacy in recent weeks. Jackson’s brothers Tito, Marlon, and Jackie, and his nephew Taj, all appeared on “CBS This Morning” last month to fire back at the film, accusing it of “not telling the truth.”
Jackson’s brother Jackie said then that he didn’t need to see the film to have that opinion.
“I know Michael. I’m the oldest brother. I know my brother,” he said. “I know what he stood for, what he was all about — bringing the world together, making kids happy.”
Robson and Safechuck have said that they came forward to help raise awareness of child sex abuse, according to Deadline. After the film received a standing ovation at Sundance Film Festival in January, Robson address his critics and those who don’t believe his claims during a post-screening Q&A session.
“I don’t feel that like there is anything I need to say to them except that I understand that it is really hard for them to believe,” he said. “Even though it happened to me I still couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t believe that what Michael did was a bad thing, so I understand.”