One of the toughest things to endure in the times we live in is the complete brutal transparency we’re used to now in our culture about pop culture idols. Some of our most important entertainment icons have now been run through the wringer due to increasingly brave accusers coming forward to tell harsh truths of sexual abuse.
While some still accuse the accusers of lying, it’s a lot more complicated with Michael Jackson compared to the legends like Bill Cosby. Considering Jackson is no longer alive and influenced so many profoundly, it’s logically created a major fan community rift.
Will it be settled any time in the near future? Let’s examine how this could all turn out.
It doesn’t help when A-list legends defend Jackson
An easier way to get over alleged sexual abusers like Cosby is when most everyone is in agreement about punishment and how to process their legacies. With Jackson, we’re seeing a wider divide, with some of the biggest music legends coming to his defense.
When you have Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand standing up for Jackson, you know there’s going to be trouble coming to terms with what MJ might have done.
As painful it is to think he sexually molested kids, it’s better if we accept it as fact since the kids in the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland explain their reasoning for later changing their stories. Kids tell the truth more than adults do, and it’s better to always realize this.
Before there’s any resolution to this divide of opinion, it’s best to look at Jackson’s mental state in adulthood.
Just how mentally ill was Michael Jackson?
If you happened to catch an ABC special last year about Jackson (The Last Days of Michael Jackson), you may remember how controversial this show was as well. It presented forgotten interviews with MJ from his late teen years that gave you a better indication of his mental condition.
There were clearer signs he’d had a rough childhood and seemed to find solace in younger people because he didn’t trust adults. Could he have developed a mental illness leading him to want to be around kids in a more intimate way?
Sexual abuse should never be forgiven based on semantics. Jackson’s illness here could have been different from other pedophilia. Now it might be too complex to understand 10 years after his death.
Because we’ll likely never know his exact mental state, all there is to go on is the word of the victims.
Can those close to Jackson reconcile he had two personalities?
Many commenters on Diana Ross’s above tweet noted she may have to accept the reality Jackson was an incredible force to her and others, yet a sexual abuser to those kids.
We’re starting to realize human beings are a lot more complex in our modern age than we’ve ever admitted. Some of the most loved and famous people may have appealing personalities at the outset, but do darkly devious things behind the scenes. Now they’re being caught more often thanks to increasing candor and video technology.
In Jackson’s case, he arguably needed mental health treatment. It’s depressing to realize he was never diagnosed to receive such a thing. Because he was a superstar with constant “yes and “no” handlers, it was arguably impossible to obtain treatments anyway.
What will Jackson’s legacy ultimately be?
There really shouldn’t be a rush to resolve the Jackson controversy. Things like this need time to settle before people can make a final decision on what his legacy is.
Stars like Ross and Streisand may need to process things a little longer themselves before coming to terms with a concluding opinion. They may always support MJ, though, because they only saw one particular side of him.
The best resolution is to just allow people to accept what they experienced while still acknowledging what the kids went through as Streisand clarified. Since many more icons still with us may essentially have similar conflicting personalities, we may have to start looking at many famous people differently in terms of how they live or lived.
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