Michael Jackson’s accusers speak out in the trailer for Leaving Neverland, the controversial new 2-part documentary from HBO. Once the biggest pop star in the world, Jackson fell from grace in the 1990s as allegations of child sexual abuse against him began to surface. Jackson would later face trial on sexual abuse charges, but would ultimately be acquitted.
Jackson first achieved fame as a child performer, leading the pop band the Jackson 5 along with his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon. As a solo artist, Jackson would become one of the biggest-selling and most popular entertainers in the world, with his biggest album Thriller going 30-times platinum and spawning a slew of top 40 hits. Jackson was also an innovator in the world of music videos, and was known as a scintillating live performer. However, Jackson also became an object of ridicule for his increasingly strange lifestyle and later faced suspicion over his numerous odd relationships with underage kids. Some saw him as a Peter Pan who refused to grow up, while others believed something disturbing was going on behind the gates of his famous Neverland ranch.
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Leaving Neverland, a new 2-part documentary by HBO, revisits the saga of Michael Jackson and sheds new light on the accusations against him. The network has released a trailer for the upcoming doc, which includes interviews with James Safechuck and Wade Robson, both of whom were befriended by Jackson as pre-teens and later subjected to what's characterized as “sustained abuse.” See the trailer below:
Jackson himself of course passed away in 2009, having long denied the accusations against him. The singer remains a divisive figure to this day, with millions of adoring fans who still refuse to believe that he did what he was accused of. With Leaving Neverland, HBO is sure to touch off a new round of debate about Jackson’s legacy and whether he should be remembered for his great achievements as an entertainer, or as someone who victimized children and deserves to be scorned. The new doc promises to take the same hard-hitting approach as HBO’s Going Clear, which tore the lid off Scientology.
Jackson himself was the subject of the previous theatrical documentary This is It, a chronicle of the comeback tour the singer was planning at the time of his death in 2009. That film painted an inspiring portrait of Jackson as an entertainer who despite all his travails still possessed the talent that made him a worldwide star. Leaving Neverland promises to paint a much darker picture of Jackson when it airs on HBO on March 3 and 4, 2019.