Channel 4 to air two-part documentary looking into sexual allegations against late singer Michael Jackson who died in 2009.
“If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to. It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets.” – Director Dan Reed
Channel 4 in the UK and stateside network HBO have co-produced Leaving Neverland a two-part documentary about two men who recount their experiences of being allegedly sexually abused by Michael Jackson.
When allegations of abuse by Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that he could be guilty of such unspeakable acts. The Channel 4 programme directed by Dan Reed explores the experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, who were both befriended by Jackson. They and their families were entranced by the singer’s fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak.
Through what the broadcaster describe as ‘gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck and Robson’, now in their 30s, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, Leaving Neverland crafts, Channel 4 note, ‘a portrait of sustained abuse, and explores the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after each had a young son of their own’.
Playing out against the backdrop of our collective experience, the film documents the value of breaking silence, even when it implicates a powerful and revered figure.
“Dan Reed has succeeded in making an extraordinarily compelling, yet moving film about two men whose lives were changed forever by one of the most famous men who ever lived. Channel 4 is immensely proud to have commissioned this film and created the opportunity for James’ and Wade’s experiences to be so sensitively told.” – Tom Porter, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor
The two-part series will premiere on HBO and Channel 4 this spring.