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The Jacksons talk about Leaving Neverland

By | Published on Thursday 28 February 2019

Michael Jackson

The family of Michael Jackson say they are not surprised that a new documentary has been produced revisiting abuse allegations made against the late king of pop, especially with the tenth anniversary of his death coming up. But they continue to criticise that documentary – HBO’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ – mainly on the basis that it doesn’t feature any family members or defenders of Jackson who, they say, should have been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations on camera.

The Jackson estate, of course, has called on HBO to cancel the film, which tells the story of two men who allege they were abused by Jackson as children. After the broadcaster declined to dump the show, the estate’s lawyers went legal, citing a 1992 contract signed when HBO aired one of the pop star’s live shows, in which the media firm committed to not disparage Jackson in any future programmes.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Jackson’s oldest brother Jackie said that, when he first heard about the new film, “I thought, ‘oh here we go again'”.

Jackson’s nephew Taj then added: “It’s going to be the ten year anniversary [of my uncle’s death]. I remember, a year ago, I was like, ‘this is too appetising for the media – they’re going to do something’. This is the time when everyone comes out of the woodwork, the same cast, the same characters that have been discredited throughout the years. They have a platform now to talk about Michael Jackson”.

Another of the Jackson brothers, Tito, said that the family would have definitely spoken to the documentary’s makers if given the chance. “Oh, we definitely would have come and talked to them about the situation … to protect our brother”, he said. “He’s not here no more. He’s passed, and, we’re his brothers, we’re supposed to do this”.

Marlon Jackson was also part of the interview and went on: “I look at it as yes, you’re protecting your brother, but you’re telling the truth, and we want people to understand the truth. And I do not understand how a filmmaker can make a documentary and not want to speak to myself or some of the other families that were at Neverland”.

The documentary will start airing this weekend on HBO in the US, while in the UK it will be screened by Channel 4 next Wednesday and Thursday.