Leaving Neverland, a new 4-hour documentary about the alleged molestation of two boys at the hands of Michael Jackson, has just been added to the schedule at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It’s also going to premiere on HBO and Channel 4 in the Spring. As we know, Michael Jackson’s estate does not fuck around when it comes to their bag, or protecting MJ’s legacy. I picture Camille Cosby, but like 20 of them, and they all have the same plastic surgeon. But more likely, it’s actually comprised of an army of corporate lawyers and executives who swear they have Katherine Jackson and the kids’ best interests at heart. As such, they’ve sharply criticized the documentary and released a statement condemning it.
The movie’s happening whether they like it or not. And they really like it not. The documentary focuses on interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who have both filed lawsuits against the estate in the past. Wade also filed suit against two of MJ’s companies for allegedly facilitating his abuse. Their suits were dismissed for exceeding the statute of limitations. Additionally, they were both named in MJ’s 2005 molestation trial, and both denied that they were assaulted at that time. The estate is painting their participation in the documentary as a cash grab. Here’s the estate’s statement (in part, via IndieWire):
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the statement reads. “Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed ‘master of deception,’ filed lawsuits against Michael’s Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both lawsuits were dismissed.”
“This so -called ‘documentary’ is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations,” the statement continues. “It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.”
It seems like participating in a documentary and rehashing your most damaging memories for fun and profit, is a terrible way to have fun or make a profit. I can think of a number of ways to make money that would be more enjoyable than having half the born world hate you for making it hard to listen to Off The Wall without feeling a little conflicted. But that’s just me. Maybe Wade and James are into some real sadomasochist shit. Maybe on the weekends, when they’re not filming documentaries, they take turns knocking each other’s teeth out and replacing them with shards of broken glass. I don’t know their lives!