Channel 4 confirms air date of 'devastating' Michael Jackson documentary 'Leaving Neverland'

Michael Jackson (Credit: AP/Rusty Kennedy)
Michael Jackson (Credit: AP/Rusty Kennedy)

Channel 4 has confirmed that it will air the controversial four-hour Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland.

It will be unveiled in two parts, at 9pm on 6 March and 7 March.

The film has been made by the BAFTA-winning British director Dan Reed, and centres on interviews with two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

They claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were aged seven and 10. The pair sued the Jackson estate in 2013, but the case was later dismissed.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, reportedly leaving viewers upset and ‘shell-shocked’.

Wade Robson, Dan Reed and James Safechuck (Credit: Taylor Jewell/AP)
Wade Robson, Dan Reed and James Safechuck (Credit: Taylor Jewell/AP)

Jackson’s family have denounced the film, however.

In a statement, the Jackson estate called it a ‘character assassination’ and a ‘lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson’.

“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact,” it added.

HBO co-produced the film along with Channel 4, and it will show it on March 3 and 4 in the US.

Speaking about the objections from the Jackson family, HBO boss Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter that it had received a 10-page letter from the estate, which outlined its concerns about the claims made in the film.

“The show is airing. It’s not changing because of the letter and I ask that everybody watch it and decide for themselves. It’s a very, very powerful documentary and I think once they see it, they’ll understand,” he said.

Read more
Full list of BAFTA winners
Malek snubs Singer
Biggest BAFTA surprises