Leaving Neverland: Channel 4 refuses to pull documentary despite backlash from Michael Jackson fans

Channel 4 will proceed with their scheduled broadcast of controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, which details two new accusations of child sex abuse against the singer.

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 told The Guardian that “messages” had been sent by fans criticising the decision to show the two-parter, but said: “There is no change in our commitment to airing the documentary.”

Part one of the documentary aired on HBO in the US on Sunday (3 March). The Jackson estate posted a concert film midway through Leaving Neverland's broadcast in seeming defiance to Dan Reed’s film.

In the documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse Jackson of grooming, sexually assaulting and raping them as children.

A taped interview by Oprah Winfrey with both Robson and Safechuck, as well as Reed, will be broadcast in the US immediately after the second part ends tonight (4 March).

Speaking to CBS This Morning, Robson told Gayle King he visited Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County as a child and thought it was “the most magical thing” he had ever seen.

Robson said Jackson invited him to stay over, first with his family, then by himself.

“Within either the first or second night of Michael and I being alone at Neverland, the nights started changing,” he said.

“One of the ways I remember it starting is Michael sort of starting to touch my legs and touch my crotch over my pants. It progressed to him performing oral sex on me, him showing me how to perform oral sex on him.”

The Jackson estate has denounced the documentary, saying the accusers “have provided no independent evidence and absolutely no proof in support of their accusations”.

Leaving Neverland airs in the UK on Channel 4 this week, beginning Wednesday.