Michale Jackson Leaving Neverland

Soundoff: Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO

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You can’t throw a white glove in any direction and not hit someone who is talking about the new documentary Leaving Neverland, the shocking Michael Jackson film that features two accusers claiming that Jackson sexually molested them. The documentary is set to air on HBO on March 3rd and 4th.

The documentary was shown to audiences in January 2019 at the Sundance Film Festival and focuses on two adult men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. They both met Michael Jackson as young boys and all while he was at the height of his career in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.

The claims are that Jackson not only sexually abused them but mentally tortured and threatened them as well. Wade Robson claimed the abuse started at age 7 and James Safechuck stated that his abuse started at age 10 which caused them trauma that has lasted into their adulthood. The documentary is presented in a near factual way in a breathtaking and graphic nature that most all who have seen the film at Sundance reported being “shell shocked”. Shell shocked is when you are so stunned and shocked by something that you have seen or heard that you can’t even process how you should react.

In 2005, Michael Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse and was cleared of the charges to the relief of his most avid fans and supporters. Both of the men highlighted in the Leaving Neverland film were also part of that 2005 group of children and at the time they had told authorities that Jackson did not molest them, which technically makes them perjurers. To make it worse with this documentary, there is no judge and jury. Only the executioner.

Wade Robson claims that the reasoning for their denial was that Michael Jackson had brainwashed and scared them to death by telling them that if anyone found out what they had done, that they would all go to jail. He told NBC‘s Today show that he was “psychologically and emotionally, completely
unable and unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse
.” 

Enter the Michael Jackson estate who is now, unsurprisingly, suing HBO for $100 million and via a blistering 10 page legal document found here, claiming that airing the brutally graphic documentary would be a breach of contract that HBO agreed to when they aired Michael Jackson’s Dangerous tour special. In that contract, it was stated that HBO could not participate in any disparaging language against Jackson in exchange for exclusivity for the broadcast of the Budapest concert.

They additionally claim that the documentary is irresponsible for only focusing on the two accusers and that Michael Jackson or anyone close to him was not given an opportunity in the two part series to argue against the molestation accusations.

Director Dan Reed replied that it is a “story of these two families and not of all the other people who were or weren’t abused by Michael Jackson.” Reed continued, “How is interviewing a person who was friends with Jackson who saw nothing going to help me tell the story? The fact that Jackson for many hours in the day was not abusing children doesn’t mean that for several hours a day he wasn’t.

Wade Robson (L), director Dan Reed and James Safechuck (R) CREDIT: TAYLOR JEWELL 

As it stands, HBO is not backing down and still has full plans to broadcast the first part of the four hour documentary on March 3 with the second part following the next night on March 4.

The real discussion not addressed is the weight and volume of damage that it will have on not only the Michael Jackson estate, but also his legacy of music. This is a performer that spent his entire life in the music industry and that has sung on dozens of #1 hits throughout his career beginning with the Jackson 5.

In a world where the Me Too movement has destroyed the careers and livelihoods of men before they even were given the chance to defend themselves or stand in front of a jury to plead a case, this is truly devastating. No matter what the truth may be.

Where is the justice truly here? This is not defending a child molester or victims. This is about an alleged story that accuses a legendary singer of unspeakable and unfathomable crimes that he will never have a chance to address or defend himself against.

Without a doubt, we fully agree that if these crimes are true, well,….we have no idea. What then? The accused is gone and no longer with us. But how will it ever be proven outside of simply watching videos of convincing actors telling us disgusting, uncomfortable stories. And we can only imagine that everyone will vote with their feet and wallets.

Will they stop buying his music, videos and posthumous releases? Will they remain seated at the club when Billie Jean thumps over the speakers?

This is the soundoff! What happens next for you?

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