Louis Theroux says fans defending Michael Jackson after ‘Leaving Neverland’ are “wilfully blind”

"If you are campaigning against it you are actively colluding in the silencing of victims"

Louis Theroux has criticised those defending Michael Jackson in the wake of recent documentary Leaving Neverland, which concerns alleged child molestation by the musician.

Theroux tweeted this afternoon (March 7): “If you can’t see that Michael Jackson was a paedophile after watching [Leaving Neverland director] Dan Reed’s film you are being wilfully blind. And if you are campaigning against it you are actively colluding in the silencing of victims.”

The first half of the film was broadcast on Channel 4 last night (March 6). A demonstration by Jackson’s hardcore fans took place outside the broadcaster’s London HQ took place earlier in the day after the broadcaster refused to pull Leaving Neverland from its schedule, despite messages from fans and Jackson’s estate.

Viewers immediately took to social media to share their thoughts on the documentary, revealing a split in opinions on the contents of the film.

Many commented on the graphic retelling of the allegations, calling it “so uncomfortable and sickening to watch.”

Meanwhile, the film’s director director Dan Reed has said he would consider making a sequel featuring more alleged ­victims of Jackson.

He said he would film a follow-up if fellow accusers Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo agreed to speak.

Chandler famously secured a $23 million payout from Jackson in 1994, while Arvizo’s allegations sparked Jackson’s 2005 trial – which saw him found not guilty of child molestation charges.

Sony’s reported $250 million (£190 million) acquisition of the distribution rights to Jackson‘s back catalogue could be threatened by the allegations.

Royalties from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are included in the deal, as are those from radio station plays. While data on the former won’t be available until next week, the swift increase in radio stations across the world deciding to drop Jackson’s music from their playlists in the wake of the attention surrounding the documentary is expected to adversely affect Sony’s investment in the coming weeks and months.