The Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, and the singer’s estate blasted the flick, saying it “isn’t a documentary,” rather a “tabloid character assassination” and called the film’s two accusers “opportunists.” Well, now the director of the film, Dan Reed, is hitting back.
"It is a four-hour documentary by an experienced documentarian with a long track record in investigation and telling complex stories and this is a complex story. So I'd say it's beyond doubt, a documentary,” Reed says. “Anyone with any knowledge of that form would recognize a documentary. A four-hour piece, is that a tabloid?”
He adds, “I think if you watch it you'll have noticed that it's a story about these two families and Jackson is an element of that story… It's not a film about Michael. ... The film itself is an account of sexual abuse, how sexual abuse happens and then how the consequences play out later in life."
- As for why the estate is attacking the film so violently, Reed notes, "They have a very precious asset to protect. Every time a song plays, a cash register goes 'ka-ching.' It doesn't surprise me that they've come out fighting in defense of their asset."
“Leaving Neverland” is expected to air on HBO in March.
- Meanwhile, Jackson's estate isn't the only one blasting the film. The singer's family has also issued a statement. “Michael Jackson is our brother and son,” the statement reads. “We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity," adding, "We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.”
Source: Hollywood Reporter