A Response to the Billboard Cover Story

By Jamie Bergen

Recently I posted a poll on Twitter asking which bullshit article I should take down next. The options were:

  • Wade Robson and James Safechuck on Surviving Michael Jackson and Creating ‘Leaving Neverland’ by Emily J. Lordi, from Billboard
  • With Michael Jackson, It’s Different by Josephine Livingstone, from The New Republic
  • Michael Jackson’s Defenders Remind Us to Also Believe Men by Jennifer Wright, from Harper’s Bazaar
  • Leaving Neverland: Why James Safechuck’s testimony doesn’t necessarily need to add up by Laura Jane Turner, from Digital Spy

After a whopping 12 people voted (?), the result was almost unanimous:

So. I’m destroying Billboard’s cover story featuring Wade Robson, James Safechuck and Dan Reed. Or, as I like to call them, (Wants to Get) Paid Robson, Gimme Safecheck and Dan gReed.

Interesting cover. I get it. Michael Jackson’s legacy is “in pieces” because of Leaving Neverland. Clever.

Nice touch of, “We’ll make you hate Michael Jackson if it’s the last thing we ever do!” as well.

Reading this article, it’s evident almost immediately that these three liars are very proud of themselves for what they think they have achieved. Of course, the official story is that they made the film for other survivors, but in reality, Leaving Neverland is nothing but a bullshit money making scam for everyone involved. Wade and James think the “documentary” will help their lawsuit appeals and Dan thinks it will advance his career and bring him fame and fortune.

So yeah, of course they’re proud of themselves. They think they’re going to be fucking rich.

However, even more lies and discrepancies have been brought to light by Michael’s ever vigilant fans in the few weeks since this article was published, so maybe they’re starting to doubt that. Especially with the amount of damage control Dan’s been attempting (and failing) to do…

Emily J. Lordi seems to think she’s done something, too. Her introduction is some of the most disgustingly pandering drivel I’ve read so far. Her praise of these three con artists is nothing short of vomit inducing. She really must have been paid a shit ton of money to obliterate her journalistic integrity like that (if she had any to begin with).

Now, before I get to the actual article, I want to address the thing that actually bothers me the most about it…

Give me one other victim of child sexual abuse, JUST ONE, who’s had the stomach to pose for a moody glamour photo shoot, effectively promoting their abuse. Billboard even published a second article just to show off the photos. Is anyone else as disgusted by this as I am? I’m so disgusted all I can do is laugh at the ridiculousness of it, really.

I mean, does this look like the worst boyband ever, or what? The Backstab Boys! New single Lie, Lie, Lie out now!

And how many documentary directors push themselves alongside their subjects like Dan has? Isn’t this supposed to be about Wade and James and their “experiences”? And yet there he is, front and center with them. He’s as much of an attention whore as the other two. More so, actually, since he’s the only one doing publicity now. (Gee, I wonder why that is…)

Anyway, moving on…

Much like my Hadley Freeman article, this is going to be… let’s say a critique rather than a debunking. And trust me, I’m going to be pretty fucking critical when I get to the interview part of this… let’s say propaganda piece (of shit).

Part 1: The Introduction

Let’s start with the nauseating introduction before getting to the interview itself.

When British documentarian Dan Reed read about the sexual abuse charges that Wade Robson and James Safechuck had brought against the Michael Jackson estate in 2013 and 2014, he thought he might have a story to tell.

Hmm. I think some details have been omitted from this origin story…

If Emily is insinuating the whole thing was Dan’s idea, she’s mistaken, been lied to or is lying herself. It was Daniel Pearl’s idea and if he hadn’t brought Michael up to Dan, none of this would be happening. No, Dan would probably be destroying someone else’s life instead.

Oh, and Wade and James’s lawsuits were NOT “charges”. They were civil suits. Seeking money. Lots of it.

He never expected to spark a global reckoning with one of the brightest, and perhaps most blinding, stars in the pop music galaxy — and with the broader realities of child sexual abuse.

Sure he didn’t. It’s not like Michael Jackson was the most famous person on the planet. It’s not like the previous allegations against him were worldwide news for fucking years. But we’re supposed to believe Dan didn’t think a documentary about detailed sexual abuse allegations against Michael would gain attention?

Dan would’ve seen the media frenzy in 1993 and 2005. It was impossible to not see it. I don’t believe for one fucking second he had no idea he would cause another shitstorm with his schlockumentary. He knew exactly what he was doing when he chose Wade and James as his subjects.

Realities of child sexual abuse, though? Bullshit. There is no such thing as “reality” in Leaving Neverland. Only pro pedophilia propaganda. More and more people are seeing that, too.

Leaving Neverland is an INSULT to true victims of child sexual abuse. By promoting it as legitimate, the media, Emily J. Lordi in this particular case, is exploiting people’s abuse for their own shitty agenda against Michael.

And not only that, but they’re putting more kids in danger of being abused by pedophiles who now have brand new grooming material fully endorsed by Oprah and the left, so-called “woke” media.

Well fucking done!

…accruing a combined 8.5 million viewers across HBO platforms domestically…

Huh. I recall the ratings and they weren’t great…

Perhaps it has gained more views on HBO’s streaming services since, but HBO’s claims that it’s one of their most successful documentaries of the past decade just doesn’t work for me. First, because, as the tweets above show, the premiere ratings were abysmal. Second, Emily claims 8.5 million viewers domestically. That number would have to be mostly from streams because the numbers for the actual airings of both parts add up to just slightly over 2 million. And if we’re talking streams, that would be VIEWS, not VIEWERS, so 6 odd million VIEWS doesn’t necessarily mean 6 odd million VIEWERS. Most of those views probably came from actual pedophiles indulging in watching it multiple times anyway.

The rest of the views were probably from those in the media. Maybe that’s why Emily seems so proud of that magical “8.5 million”. She contributed to it.

HBO claims 7.5 million viewers for Part 1, though, no mention of Part 2’s numbers. I assume it’s far less. But they’d add up to more than 8.5 million surely. Whatever the numbers are, 8.5 million doesn’t seem to be one of them, so it’s entirely possible Emily did not partake in any fact checking here. Shocker.

And if it’s been so successful, why is HBO removing it in April, rather than screening it until September like they originally planned? It might be staying on their streaming services, but they are definitely pulling it from their programming.

They deny they’re pulling it, but I don’t buy it. HBO has invested a lot in this farce “documentary”, of course they won’t admit it was a failure.

For some viewers — including the Jackson estate, which is suing HBO for breach of contract (in reference to a nondisparagement agreement between the estate and the network from 1992) — the film’s near-exclusive focus on Robson and Safechuck makes it a one-sided effort to damn the dead.

That’s because it is! How can anyone not see that by now?? JFC!

It’s amazing to me how these journalists touch upon the truth about what Leaving Neverland is actually doing, only to dismiss it immediately. Case in point, the very next sentence is…

But for many others, it is a painfully convincing expose of the emotional damage both embodied and allegedly perpetrated by the King of Pop.

There are many words one could use to describe Leaving Neverland. Painful is definitely one of them. Convincing is not. In fact, here’s a list of other words the media has used to describe Leaving Neverland that just don’t fly:

  • Powerful (doesn’t equal true)
  • Brave (yeah, making a scripted documentary after your lawsuits failed is totes brave)
  • Compelling (if you find graphic descriptions of sexual abuse compelling, okay…)
  • Disturbing (this one is accurate, but not in the way the media says; it applies to their behavior, too)
  • Credible (?)

Well, media, here are some words I, and other fans, use when describing Leaving Neverland:

Oprah Winfrey, for one, believes Jackson’s accusers.

So she says. But it seems to me that Oprah only believes accusers when it benefits her. Otherwise…


So what exactly does Oprah stand to gain by “believing” Wade and James? Ratings? Relevancy? Praise and respect from #MeToo? No. Well, yes, but those are just the added benefits of her real goal.

Sure, there’s no hard evidence she’s helping to protect her (alleged) rapist buddy Weinstein, but when you look at that thread, it all adds up.

So for Emily to brag that Oprah believes Wade and James like it gives them more credibility because Oprah is soooo honest and principled is misguided at best, fucking deceptive at worst.

…she interviewed Robson, 36, and Safechuck, 41, before an audience largely comprising sexual abuse survivors…

Fucking. Manipulative. Bitch.

When I first heard about Oprah’s After Neverland special and how the audience believed everything the liars and their families said, especially Stephanie Safechuck’s lies about celebrating Michael’s death, I thought, “Okay, that audience is obviously made up of people with preconceived notions of Michael’s guilt. This whole special and everyone in it can just fuck right off.” But then I found out most of them were sexual abuse survivors.

The ONLY reason Oprah had those people there was to give the “documentary” and her After Neverland special more legitimacy.

So Oprah,

…asked the two men to explain how Jackson “groomed” them — and their families — by inviting them all to Neverland Ranch, where the boys slept in his bedroom.

I already addressed the media’s misuse of the word “groomed” in my Hadley Freeman article and the bed sharing thing in my Maureen Orth article, so go and read those parts, then come back. Emily’s not going to make me fucking repeat myself here.

Done? Awesome. Let’s continue.

Robson and Safechuck also described the mixture of shame, guilt, fear and love that compelled them to deny the abuse for years, with Robson even testifying on Jackson’s behalf in a 2005 child molestation trial.

But Wade felt no shame or guilt, he said so…

Which is it? He had no perspective on his abuse so he felt no shame? Or he felt shame because he always knew he’d been abused? It obviously can’t be both! Jesus, why can’t liars just pick one story and stick to it?

This reminds me a bit of Jodi Arias. Not the murder part, of course, but the part where she continuously changed her story every time she was called out on her lies. First, she wasn’t there when Travis Alexander was murdered. Then she was there, but it was masked intruders who did it. Then she did do it, but it was self defense because Travis was abusive. I know Jodi has nothing to do with this whole situation, but my point is this: the more you lie, the more you HAVE to lie. Jodi’s inconsistent lies were her undoing and the same is happening for Wade. James, too.

Wow, I went a bit off track there. At first I thought, “Should I really compare Wade to a murderer?” But then I remembered I’ve seen people who support Wade compare Michael to Ted Bundy, so fuck it. The rant stays.

Anyway, if James has ever felt any guilt, I’d say it’s now rather than when he was supposedly denying abuse.

And by the way, Emily, Wade VOLUNTEERED to testify at Michael’s trial, so don’t fucking insinuate otherwise.

Not only that, but when he was subjected to a pretty damn heavy cross examination by the prosecution, he NEVER WAVERED.

And they insisted that their goal in making the film was less to incriminate Jackson…

SERIOUSLY?! Well, the media sure as fuck didn’t get that memo.

Such bullshit. Of course their goal was to incriminate Michael, in hopes it will help their lawsuit appeals! It’s not called “trial by media” for fucking nothing!

…connect with survivors…

Really? Connect with survivors? Really?? Then where are they? They haven’t said anything publicly in WEEKS, and prior to that the only time I saw either one of them in any kind of proximity to survivors was Oprah’s After Propaganda special.

Unless Wade’s foundation is what they consider connecting with survivors…

Connecting with survivors’ bank accounts is probably way more accurate.

…by telling their truth.

I am so fucking sick of seeing this. “THEIR” truth. There is no such thing as “someone’s” truth. There’s THE truth. That’s it! If something isn’t THE TRUTH, it’s not true! It’s just a fucking lie.

So when Wade and James tell “their” truth and the media perpetuates that…

…their earlier legal cases against Jackson barred them from communicating with each other…

Wade and James share the same legal team. When James saw Wade on TV in 2013 lying about being abused by Michael, he contacted Wade’s lawyers.

But they never met as adults until the Sundance premiere.

…a 48-minute documentary sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Channel 4.

IF ONLY that was the way it actually turned out. But instead, the world was subjected to FOUR FUCKING HOURS of this sickening shit. Well, three hours if you’re in the UK.

Sponsored by Channel 4? Well, yes, according to this article, it was indeed Channel 4’s idea, but it’s not made clear exactly WHO at Channel 4 thought of it. Daniel Pearl? Or someone else?

This was before the #MeToo movement made allegations of sexual misconduct international news, so they didn’t know if anyone would see the movie, let alone care.

Well, weren’t they lucky #MeToo took off the way it did? Otherwise they wouldn’t have had a platform to exploit. #MeToo’s hypocrisy and “believe all victims” bullshit agenda has certainly worked in their favor.

But after filming the first round of interviews, Reed felt the story deserved a wider platform. He brought a reel of material to HBO. It got bigger from there.

Yeah, why does none of this add up for me? Where does Oprah, Weinstein, Plepler and Geffen fit in? You can’t tell me they’re not involved in this.

So who really came up with the idea of Leaving Neverland? Was it Daniel Pearl and Dan Reed? Someone at Channel 4? Oprah? She’s overly invested in it to the point of dismissing its debunking by fans as “hateration” on The Daily Show. Weinstein? He’s used Michael to distract people from his own scandals for years and now that he his trial is coming up, it makes sense he’d do it again. It sure worked at Sundance. Or was it Geffen? Could he still be bitter about their falling out all those years ago? HBO? Wade, James and their lawyers?

I just don’t know. I could speculate for days. Everyone involved in this travesty is connected in numerous ways, so it could have been any one of them. Or several of them. But there is one thing I am sure of. This is the reason HBO is trying to stop the Estate’s petition for a public arbitration. They would have to reveal who is truly responsible for this farce “documentary”.

Did Emily bother to research any of this? Of course not. Judging by her fawning in this introduction, she was too busy alternating her lips between Wade, James and Dan’s asses.

Robson, a prodigiously talented dancer-choreographer…

He may have been a decent dancer once. Who knows what the fuck he thinks he’s doing now…

But did Wade tell Emily to write “prodigiously talented” about him? Because I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

Notice the tribute to Michael in that video? “But that doesn’t mean anything,” one might say, “that was obviously made before Wade realized he’d been abused!”

Okay, imaginary naysayer. Here’s a clip of him dancing to Michael AFTER he supposedly realized it.

…who has worked extensively with Britney Spears and *NSYNC…

Yeah, until he fucked it all up by sleeping with Britney and destroying her relationship with Justin Timberlake. His reputation in the dance community is basically shit now thanks to that, and other things he’s done.

So yeah, Emily can stop praising this douchebag now. He’s not worthy of it. He’s a self serving, narcissistic prick who uses people to advance his career without giving a shit who he hurts in the process.

But Safechuck, an arty kid-turned-tech geek, is successful in his own right as the director of technology at an interactive ad agency.

I guess this is true.

This raises some interesting points. As stated in the thread above, James has connections to Oprah and HBO. He’s a trained actor, His company, AvatarLabs, has worked with HBO and Sony for years. He has experience working in the movie industry.

If he’s so successful, then, why is he suing the Michael Jackson Estate for millions of dollars? The answer is simple:

I guess AvatarLabs didn’t pay James enough to help his parents out. James realizing he was abused and suing the Estate makes a lot more sense when you consider this lawsuit against his family. He must have thought all his Christmases came at once when he saw Wade’s interview with Matt Lauer. A solution to his family’s problem AND a way to get rich! Too fucking bad for him it didn’t work and the judge tossed his lawsuit before it even got anywhere. His appeal will fail, too. But hey, he got paid for his performance in Skeeving Slumberland and media appearances, so he has that at least. (OF COURSE he and Wade were paid. You’re an idiot if you believe otherwise.)

Both are funny and earnest.

Make no mistake, Wade is a trained actor, too. And while a lot of people are unconvinced by their performances, they sure have managed to fool a lot of other people. I’m not sure if Emily is one of those people or if she’s in on the media’s agenda against Michael, but her use of the word “earnest” leads me to suspect it’s the former. ?

Reed, 54, is dry yet charismatic…

Oh, so acting like he’s the spokesperson for NAMBLA is charismatic, is it? Noted.

If that’s Emily’s idea of charismatic, then I don’t know what the actual fuck to say. I’m too creeped out to form an opinion.

The three speak less about abuse than about creation: the grueling, precarious process of filming and decisions about structure and tone.

Well, yes. Putting together all those false graphic descriptions of sexual abuse would have taken a lot of time and work. It’s just a real shame for them that they didn’t spend the same amount of time and work on getting their lies straight…


…the role Jackson played in Robson’s and Safechuck’s professional lives…

What role exactly? Michael worked with both of them a few times when they were kids. That’s pretty much it. He did sign Wade’s rap group Quo to his label, but it’s not like that ended up becoming Wade’s career. No, I’m pretty certain that one of the reasons Wade and James are doing this is because Michael DIDN’T play the role in their professional lives that they wanted him to.

Yep, revenge. Because they’re entitled assholes.

…both men’s ongoing efforts to extricate themselves from Jackson’s spell.

Yeah, no, that’s the last thing they want. Come the fuck on. In order to pull off this bullshit money making scam that is Leaving Neverland, they need to be tied to Michael forever. The only way they’re going to get the payout they so desperately want is to be known as “Michael Jackson’s victims” and they’re prepared to play that role for the rest of their fucking pathetic lives.

That process might mirror viewers’ own.

And there it is. The crux of Leaving Neverland: Emotional manipulation.

In the absence of any actual facts or proof in the “documentary”, the only way Wade and James could get people to believe their lies was to hit them emotionally. Tug on their heartstrings with their harrowing stories. Make themselves relatable to real sexual abuse victims by triggering their own experiences with graphic details.

And being “relatable/relevant” was Wade’s goal from the start.

In summary: I wasn’t wrong when I said nauseating. Granted, I haven’t read too many articles of this ilk, but of the ones I have read, Emily’s ass kissing is unparalleled. Her unabashed praising of these liars is embarrassing. I’m actually feeling secondhand embarrassment right now.

But hold on, guys, it’s about to get a whole lot worse…

Part 2: The Interview →


One thought on “A Response to the Billboard Cover Story

  1. Thank you, jamie!
    This is excellent.
    Makes me want to hit something though!! lol Bastards…
    We do it for Michael xo

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