Michael Jackson has found himself back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons nearly a decade after his death in June 2009. Jackson is the main subject in a controversial new documentary, Leaving Neverland, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The two-part film is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Sunday, March 3rd, with the second half airing the following evening on Monday, March 4th.
Amid all the buzz surrounding the documentary’s damning portrayal of the pop icon, the Jackson family continues to adamantly discredit the film’s allegations, which claim to expose Michael’s controversial past relationships with children and cast new light on the criminal suits he faced several occasions when he was alive.
The film focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who were close to Jackson as kids. Both men had previously denied that Jackson engaged in any inappropriate actions towards them and even supported him during the 2005 criminal investigation, but have since changed their story regarding what may have actually happened. Jackson’s surviving brothers (Jackie, Tito, & Marlon) and nephew (Taj), however, aren’t so sure their claims should be believed.
“It was going to be the 10-year anniversary [of Michael’s death],” Taj Jackson said in a statement. “I remember a year ago I was like, ‘This is too appetizing for the media. They’re going to do something. This is the time when everyone comes out of the woodwork, the same cast, the same characters that have been discredited throughout the years.’ They have a platform now to talk about Michael Jackson.”
Tito Jackson also commented on the fact that none of the filmmakers approached anyone in the family to hear their side of the story, adding, “Oh, we definitely would have come and talked to them about the situation … to protect our brother. He’s not here no more. He’s passed, and, we’re his brothers, we’re supposed to do this.”
The film reportedly only uses the voices of Robson, Safechuck, and their families. According to Jacksons, the emergence of Robson’s new allegations coincides with his recent financial issues, in addition to the fact that he was denied a job with a Cirque du Soleil show themed around Jackson and his music ahead of his initial allegations.
Regardless of the ongoing he-said-she-said claims made between the film and the Jackson family, fans and viewers will get the chance to hear Robson and Safechuck’s stories for themselves when the first part of Leaving Neverland airs on HBO on March 3rd at 8 p.m. EST. You can watch the trailer below:
Leaving Neverland – Official Trailer