Michael Jackson is a pop music icon. Since his death in 2009, the King of Pop, as he was known, regularly topped the list of highest earning dead celebrities. But in the ’90s, Jackson faced allegations of sexual abuse that would haunt him for the rest of his life and leave a cloud of suspicion hanging over his legacy. Death, however, seemed to leave these accusations a distant memory in the collective consciousness of the public. With the rise of the #MeToo movement and a number of prominent men taken down over their abusive and inappropriate behavior, it was only a matter of time before the eyes of the public turned towards those lingering allegations against Michael Jackson.
Director Dan Reed‘s Leaving Neverland debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and immediately generated large amounts of buzz for its thorough examination of the accusations of abuse against Jackson, with two survivors in Wade Robson and James Safechuck coming forward to tell their stories. HBO is bringing Leaving Neverland to its network this March despite the protests of Jackson’s estate and a legion of obsessive, defensive fans desperate to leave their pop icon unmarred.
The premium cable network has just released the trailer for the two-part documentary. Leaving Neverland will undoubtedly be a controversial work of documentary filmmaking, exhuming a dark chapter about the power of celebrity in the life of a dead pop icon. HBO is bracing for the storm of controversy that will surely come its way once Leaving Neverland which airs on March 3rd and 4th.
The official 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.