“Everybody wanted to be with Michael… and then he likes you.”
Take a look at the first trailer released for upcoming HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which focuses on two men – Wade Robson and James Safechuck – and the abuse they say they suffered at the hands of mega popstar Michael Jackson.
The two-part doco has already been receiving quite a bit of buzz and controversy. Security was upped at the Sundance Film Festival prior to its screening amidst threats to director Dan Reed (The Paedophile Hunter) and protest fears, and the Michael Jackson estate has been calling out HBO for their “disgraceful” work.
Indeed, it’s a sensitive subject for Jackson’s many, many fans around the world, a good number of which appear to be already criticising the documentary without having seen it (check out the comments and the thumbs up-to down ratio under its trailer on YouTube). While there’s no doubting how many are highly skeptical of Robson and Safechuck’s allegations, it will be interesting to see if this documentary sways opinions, or if it will drive another all-out investigation into Jackson.
There are only a few reviews to go on since the Sundance screening, and they are almost unanimously in agreement that this is a “devastating” (Variety) and “gruesome” (IndieWire) look into what these men say they went through. It could change the way the “king of pop” is looked at by many.
Part 1 of Leaving Neverland hits HBO on March 3 and Part 2 airs on March 4.
HBO’s synopsis for Leaving Neverland:
This two-part documentary explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own.