HBO will premiere the four-part documentary on Michael Jackson, “Leaving Neverland” on Sunday, March 3.
The pay cable network made the announcement during the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday. The second part will air Monday, March 4.
The four-hour documentary by Dan Reed features detailed accounts from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Jackson molested them when they were underage boys. The film’s premiere last month during the Sundance Film Festival required extra security amid fears that protesters would try to disrupt the film.
But before the screening, the two protesters on hand were far outnumbered by press looking for a story. And four hours later, after the long and devastating film, no Jackson fans attempted to disrupt the Q&A with director Reed and Jackson accusers Robson and Safechuck, who were greeted by a standing ovation.
The Jackson estate referred to both Robson and Safechuck by name as “admitted liars” and disputed the film as “blatantly one-sided.”
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the estate said last month, in a statement. “Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them. This so called ‘documentary’ is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations. It’s baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project.”
Although “Leaving Neverland” prompted a harsh response from Jackson’s estate and his fans since its premiere, Reed says his documentary isn’t meant to be about the late pop star, but rather about his two sexual assault accusers.
“That’s not the story we’re telling,” Reed told TheWrap’s Steve Pond at Sundance. “We’re telling the story of the sexual abuse of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, which is a story that they know and that their families know because now it’s come out and that their families are in a position to talk about.”
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