I apologize in advance for the long post.
I am starting to feel like others on this thread, like it is just too much, but on the other hand writing the thoughts down and sharing them helps me process what I have seen.
So I had never actually been an MJ fan. Partly because I didn’t live in this country and I was also too young, all I recall is people talking about him being a weirdo as a kid (late 80’s-early 90’s). I arrived to the US in 1992, in the midst of his first big scandal popping up. Didn’t pay much attention to that other than, yup, he’s a weirdo. I mean, I thought his music was “cool” but nothing that inspired fandom in any way.
Conversely, I really loved Wade Robson during his SYTYCD days. I thought he was a genius, and made modern dance palatable to me in a show that only valued contemporary dance. I missed him when he stopped choreographing there, and wished there was another platform were we could enjoy his work. He kept a much lower profile choreography wise since; when he finally came forward on the today show, I was just surprised and felt badly that he had endured that for so many years.
I can’t understand the staunch supporters that to this day say that his acquittal is somehow proof that he didn’t do anything. To me it only proves the power of his machinery, and the power he had over these boys to get them to testify on his behalf. The supporters seemingly can’t get past the point that the men defended Jackson. I can understand it easily with the concept of identification with the aggressor. It’s a defense mechanism/survival strategy. In those situations, victims develop feelings of admiration, gratitude, and establish an emotional bond with the aggressor. In this case, the length of time of the abuse, the severity of it, the years of grooming, were the perfect breeding ground for this—they were hard-wired from a young age that the only acceptable behavior was to deny and defend MJ. To this day James admits to feeling guilt about disclosing. That is quite a stronghold MJ had on his victims—by him portraying himself as a victim and creating a “world against us” mentality, he got his victims to support him to an unimaginable degree. And now even from his grave, the fact that they defended him is now being used against them.
I wish there was a way of showing more public support to both men, or even to have a way of letting them know that not everyone is against them and that there are people that believe them. If there is, I am not aware of it.
One last thing—there is also an aspect of identification with the aggressor where some of the victims repeat the behavior and become abusers themselves. I am not suggesting in any way that Wade or James identified to that extent or would ever do so; only in the sense that it explains their defense of Michael.