Leaving Neverland — the documentary detailing alleged abuse by Michael Jackson — has been highly controversial, and soon audiences will be able to see it for themselves.
The film originally debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, but will be airing this weekend on HBO.
Part 1 of Leaving Neverland will premiere on Sunday, March 3, with Part 2 airing the following day on Monday, March 4.
In addition to the new documentary debut, HBO will also air an Oprah Winfrey special, with the iconic TV host sitting down to speak with Jackson's accusers.
That special, Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland, will air immediately following Part 2 of Leaving Neverland on Monday.
.@Oprah WINFREY PRESENTS: AFTER NEVERLAND debuts Monday, Mar. 4 at 10PM simultaneously on @OWNTV and @HBO, immediately following the conclusion of part two of @HBODocs' #LeavingNeverland: //t.co/Id0MJaW1e5— HBO PR (@HBOPR) February 27, 2019
Jackson's estate is very unhappy about the new documentary, and has gone on the record as calling it "a tabloid character assassination." The Jackson estate also has questioned the credibilty of the information conveyed in the documentary..
"The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact,"a statement by Jackson's estate read. "Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family — that is the Jackson way. But we can't just stand by while this public lynching goes on. … Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made."
Dan Reed, the film's director, has responded to the criticism from Jackson's estate, staying that he sees why they are upset about the documentary because "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."0comments
"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. Anyone with any knowledge of that form would recognize a documentary," he went on to say.
"A four-hour piece, is that a tabloid? I didn't characterize Jackson at all in the film — 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. But I don't seek to characterize him at all. I don't comment on Jackson. 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," Reed added.