"Hey, rat greed, here is "Documentary Making 101" for you: "documentary" is a factual program that provides fact-based evidence or report, not your sick child porn fantasies. You got the genre wrong!"— JacksonPassion
Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary directed and produced by the British filmmaker Dan Reed. The documentary focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that they were sexually abused as children by the late singer Michael Jackson at his home, Neverland Ranch, and other locations. The documentary was broadcast on HBO in two parts in March 2019.
The release of the broadcast resulted in a backlash against Jackson and a reassessment of his legacy; however, it boosted sales of his music. Some dismissed the film as one-sided and questioned its veracity; the Jackson estate condemned it as a "tabloid character assassination". The film led to protests from Jackson's fans. Michael Jackson: Chase the Truth, a documentary challenging the allegations of Leaving Neverland and asserting omissions and inconsistencies in that account, was released on August 13, 2019 on Amazon Prime Video.
At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged seven and ten, respectively, and their families. Now in their thirties, they tell the story of how they were allegedly sexually abused by Michael Jackson.
Why It Sucks
- The documentary movie about Michael Jackson is full of bogus slander; based on accusations that are heavily inaccurate, especially in terms of history, and lack any evidence whatsoever:
- James Safechuck claims he was abused by Jackson at the train station in 1992, even though the train station did not even exist until 1994; he also claimed the abuse got worse after a Grammy Performance in New York in 1989, when the Grammys that year took place in Los Angeles and Michael Jackson didn't perform there that year.
- Wade Robson claims he was sexually assaulted at Disneyland Paris in 1988 when it was Euro Disney Resort; keep in mind that the construction of Disneyland Paris was not complete until 1992.
- Not only are some of the shots taken from a drone, but were also actually staged and re-shot, which also shows the inaccuracy.
- Robson claims that Jackson abused him when he was alone when his family went to Arizona, even though he actually did go with his family to Arizona.
- Safechuck says that Jackson was with him during Thanksgiving when the latter was actually in Australia during his "Bad" Tour.
- Safechuck also claimed that he cried himself to sleep in Los Angeles in September 1992 after Jackson preferred another child over him, even though Jackson was in the United Kingdom during his "Dangerous" Tour.
- At one point, Safechuck claimed that Jackson gave him his old Thriller jacket, even though it is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was sold on Music Icons Auctions.
- Wade Robson testified as an adult to defend Michael Jackson; keep in mind that nobody asked him to testify and he was a grown man. In addition, this could be (and is) perjury.
- The entirety of this documentary is disgraceful to the legacy of Michael Jackson, as it tries to defame a deceased man who was proven innocent by showing evidence against the accusers and currently cannot defend himself; an entire decade after his death.
- It is believed that Robson only did this out of spite after not being accepted to direct the Michael Jackson-Cirque du Soleil joint production Michael Jackson: One, which resulted in financial problems for Robson.
- According to many, the accusations seem to originate from the fictional fantasy novel Michael Jackson Was My Lover.
- Safechuck claimed that he had a mock wedding with Jackson in order to earn the rings; however, the rings are too big for a ten-year-old.
- Lackluster cinematography.
- Hypocrisy: Robson dated Jackson's niece Brandi for seven years, even though he claimed that Jackson told him to distrust women.
- The ending is beyond abysmal and adds insult to injury, as it shows memorabilia being burnt, even though Robson sold the real ones for money.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The soundtrack is decent to listen to.
Despite Leaving Neverland receiving critical acclaim from critics, it received a more divided response from casual viewers and fans of Michael Jackson. Sales for Jackson's albums went high in the billboard charts following the release of the documentary. It received a 98% "fresh" rating on RWW based on 93 reviews with an average score of 7.97/10 with the critic consensus "Crucial and careful, Leaving Neverland gives empathetic breadth and depth to the complicated afterlife of child sexual abuse as experienced by adult survivors." It has also earned an 85/100 on Metacritic based on 23 reviews, meaning universal acclaim. It originally had a 61% fresh audience score at release, before being redacted and put back up with a 24%.
Many people believed that the documentary was actually true, leading to radio stations removing Jackson's music, statues and items of memorabilia being taken down, BTSW pulling the episode "Stark Raving Dad" from circulation, Drake dropping his MJ collaboration "Don't Matter To Me" from his tour setlist, some celebrities turning against him, and a documentary about The Jackson 5 being canceled. Jackson's estate later sued HBO for $100 million after the documentary was released. Celebrities such as Macaulay Culkin, Aaron Carter, James Lee, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Diana Ross, Madonna, Wendy Williams, Nick Cannon, Snoop Dogg, Akon, T.I, Tiffany Haddish, Mark Lester and others still defend and support Michael Jackson.
This documentary pretty much brainwashed celebrities and brands such as; Sia, Ethan Klein from h3h3Productions, FaZe Banks, Caito Potatoe, 50 Cent, John Legend, Molly Ringwald, Lil Boosie, Rose McGowan, Ellen DeGeneres, Corey Feldman, Louis Theroux, Katelyn Ohashi, Drake, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Quincy Jones, Starbucks, H&M, McDonald's, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Al Jean, as well as the members of the crew who work on The Simpsons and Oprah Winfrey into believing the allegations.
When it comes to criticism, Wade Robson put his Twitter account on private for his haters and blocks people who criticize him, James Safechuck and/or this documentary, and James Safechuck blocks people who criticize and/or expose him.
Despite the controversy, it would go on to win the Emmy for "Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special" at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.
FilmMasterAdam named the documentary the worst movie he personally saw in 2019.