Is it disturbing because it’s FOUR HOURS LONG? Are they sure the people who looked disturbed were actually just looking pained from holding in urine for FOUR HOURS so they didn’t leave and miss anything? Leaving Neverland is an upcoming HBO documentary about the multiple sexual abuse charges that were leveled against Michael Jackson. It had its premiere at Sundance yesterday, and HuffPo reports that the attendees were shook during and after the viewing and not in the “Trinity the Tuck’s gown had me shook, gurl” way.
The doc, which will air in two parts on HBO later this year, tells the stories of two of MJ’s accusers – Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The details supplied by MJ’s accusers are supposedly so upsetting that Sundance’s director introduced it with a TRIGGER WARNING and let the audience know that there would be mental health professionals in the lobby post-screening. UsWeekly has a quick rundown of some of the soul-melting shit in the doc.
Midway through the Sundance screening, which was divided into two parts, reporters and film critics remarked at the documentary’s emotional intensity. Audience members spent intermission walking around in shock.
Feel sick to my stomach after watching Part 1 of #LeavingNeverland doc. Michael Jackson witnesses/sex abuse victims coming off very credible. It’s so sexually explicit that counselors are in the lobby. #SundanceFilmFestival2019
— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) January 25, 2019
And that’s one of several tweets remarking on how devastating it supposedly is.
Robson, Safechuck, and director Daniel Reed had a Q&A afterward. Some audience members were so upset that they didn’t stay for it.
— Gerrick D. Kennedy (@GerrickKennedy) January 25, 2019
The screening was said to be “fraught with tension” because of a heavy police presence. Angry MJ fans had tried to get the flick pulled and Park City, Utah police had been warned that there was going to be a lot of protesters. In actuality, only a few showed up, holding signs that read “INNOCENT” and telling people to “do your research.”
“Leaving Neverland” isn’t a documentary, it is the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death. The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact. These claims were the basis of lawsuits filed by these two admitted liars which were ultimately dismissed by a judge. The two accusers testified under oath that these events never occurred. They have provided no independent evidence and absolutely no proof in support of their accusations, which means the entire film hinges solely on the word of two perjurers.
During the Q&A, Safechuck noted that he and Robson weren’t paid for any of this.
During the Q&A, Safechuck emphasized that he and Robson weren’t compensated for participating in the documentary, as some protesters have suggested. He participated, he said, to provide “comfort” for anyone who has experienced similar horrors.
Robson said that he hopes the movie “validates” sexual abuse survivors’ stories.
Michael Jackson was publicly accused of sexually molesting a kid in 1993, denied it, and settled with the kid’s family for 22 million. He was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse in 2005 but was acquitted on all charges.
Er, let’s lighten the mood? 90s Fun Fact that everybody already knows: Wade Robson is the celebrity choreographer who supposedly broke up Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake! If that’s truly what happened, he did the world a public service by ensuring that this denim nightmare would never be repeated. Yeah, that fun fact didn’t make me feel any less dirty after this post either.