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Michael Jackson Estate criticises Emmy win for ‘Leaving Neverland’

By | Published on Monday 16 September 2019

Michael Jackson

The Michael Jackson Estate has criticised the Emmys for giving one of its Creative Arts Awards to the documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’. The programme, which put the spotlight back on allegations of abuse made against Jackson, picked up the prize for Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special at this weekend’s Creative Arts Awards, which precede the main Emmys that take place next Sunday.

The Estate has been critical of ‘Leaving Neverland’ before it even aired. It disputes all the allegations made against Jackson by its two main subjects, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom were friends of the late pop star when they were children. Reps for the estate have also criticised the documentary and its director Dan Reed for not featuring anyone defending Jackson and disputing Robson and Safechuck’s claims.

According to The Blast, a spokesperson for the estate said of the programme’s Emmy win: “For a film that is a complete fiction to be honoured in a nonfiction Emmy category is 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”.

For his part, Reed thanked Robson and Safechuck after his programme received its Emmy Award. He said: “None of this would have been possible without the incredible courage and determination of Wade and James and their families and I wanted to salute that. This is one of the first times we’ve been able to shine light on child sexual abuse … the pattern of how it unfolds is not an easy story to tell … it often remains undisclosed for so many decades, so I thank them from the bottom of my heart”.

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