Michael Jackson estate slams ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary Emmy win

The Dan Reed film looks into abuse allegations made against the singer

Michael Jackson‘s estate has hit out after Leaving Neverland, the documentary that looks into abuse allegations made against the late pop star, won a Creative Arts Emmy Award.

The 71st Emmy Awards kicked off over the weekend with night one of the two-night Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony taking place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Leaving Neverland took home a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.


But in a statement released to Entertainment Tonight, the Jackson estate said: “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 two-part film directed by Dan Reed, which divided viewers upon its UK airing earlier this year, focuses on testimony by Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 41, who both claim that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In the wake of the film being shown, Jackson’s songs were subsequently banned on numerous radio stations around the world.

Jackson denied any wrongdoing before his death in 2009.

Leaving Neverland was also nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi- Camera), and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera).

Meanwhile, HBO has called for Michael Jackson‘s $100 million lawsuit against Leaving Neverland to be dismissed.


Ahead of the film’s premiere in March, Jackson’s estate sued the HBO network while protesting the late star’s innocence.

The plaintiff alleges that Leaving Neverland constitutes a breach of a non-disparagement clause in an agreement that is 27 years old. It’s said that the deal provided the network with rights to air a Michael Jackson live show around the time of his 1991 album, ‘Dangerous’.