Leaving Neverland wins nonfiction Emmy; Michael Jackson Estate responds

The documentary about allegations of child sexual assault against Michael Jackson won one award at the 2019 Emmys.

September 16, 2019
<i>Leaving Neverland</i> wins nonfiction Emmy; Michael Jackson Estate responds YouTube / HBO

This weekend, Leaving Neverland, the two-part HBO documentary about the allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, was awarded the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. The four-hour show made a significant impact upon release earlier this year, with some radio stations — and The Simpsons — pulling Jackson-related content from rotation, and Louis Vuitton shelving its Michael Jackson-themed collection. Per Deadline, director Dan Reed thanked alleged victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck in his speech, and championed the fact that Leaving Neverland is “one of the first items we’ve been able to shine a light on child sexual abuse.”

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Now, SPIN is reporting that the Michael Jackson Estate has issued a response to Leaving Neverland’s Emmy win, saying “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.”

The Jackson Estate has been forceful in its anti-Leaving Neverland push, strategically airing archival Michael Jackson concert footage at the same time as Leaving Neverland aired and reportedly attempting to sue HBO. Still, the HBO documentary has not stopped a hike in streams of Jackson’s music.

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Leaving Neverland wins nonfiction Emmy; Michael Jackson Estate responds