Michael Jackson’s estate has slammed the Television Academy for honoring the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards over the weekend (September 14-15, 2019).
Allegations of child sexual abuse have continued to dog the King of Pop a decade after his 2009 death, and earlier this year, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who were taken under the singer’s wing as children, alleged they were abused by him in the explosive HBO film.
And while the Dan Reed-directed flick was recognised with five Emmy nominations, the Bad singer’s estate have called the decision to award the film the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special prize a “complete farce”.
“Not one shred of proof supports this completely one-sided, so-called documentary which was made in secrecy and for which not one person outside of the two subjects and their families were interviewed,” they said in a statement released to Entertainment Tonight.
Meanwhile, Reed thanked Safechuck and Robson during his acceptance speech at the ceremony, and later told the publication the win will “help to validate the film, (which has) been so controversial”.
“We thought it would make some noise, but we kind of thought people would go, ‘Oh yeah, it’s another film about the allegations against Michael Jackson.’ But this has been taking us completely unawares,” the filmmaker admitted. “It’s been a tsunami of love, of hatred, of attention and noise, of thoughtful critical reaction and unthinking reaction. It’s been a journey into the heart of the world media.
“I just hope there are people out there, who have had a similar experience to the guys in my film, who feel more at ease with themselves having watched it, and have a way to articulate what happened to them.”
Jackson’s estate has repeatedly denied all allegations against the Thriller hitmaker.