On March 6th and 7th, the long-anticipated Leaving Neverland will finally drop on Channel 4 in two parts. The documentary tells the stories of two adult men who allege that they suffered years of sexual abuse throughout their childhoods at the hands of Michael Jackson.
The film paints a horrifying picture of the sexual abuse allegedly committed by Jackson throughout his career — as well as the subsequent lifelong trauma of the victims and their families, who are also interviewed in the film. Leaving Neverland was met with intense emotion at Sundance, where there were mandated counsellors on call in the lobby for viewers who needed them after hearing the harrowing, graphically detailed, firsthand accounts showcased in the film. Since then, the documentary has been vehemently denounced by Jackson's estate, which claims the allegations are untrue.
The film's director, Dan Reed, said in a statement, per HBO: "If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to. It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets."
The film will air in two 90 minute segments at 9pm on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th March on Channel 4. In the US, it will run on HBO on the 3rd and 4th.