6.9
420 votes
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

HBO 2019

As one of the most famous icons in the world, Michael Jackson represents many things for many people: a pop star, a benefactor, an idol. When in 1993 he was accused of sexual abuse of children, many found it hard to believe that 'the king of pop' could be guilty of such indescribable acts. In separate but parallel stories that echo each other, two children of 7 and 10 years old became friends with Jackson, who invited them to his unique and wonderful world in Neverland. Seduced by 'the fairy tale' that supposed to be close to the singer, the families of both children were not aware of the manipulation and abuse to which they would eventually submit. Through heartbreaking interviews with now-adult men and their families, "Leaving Neverland" offers a portrait of sustained exploitation and deception, documenting the power of celebrity that allowed a revered figure to enter the lives of these children and their loved ones.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland - S1E2

#1 - Leaving Neverland: Part 2

7.52

Season 1 - Episode 2

Conclusion. A documentary about two men, now in their thirties, who recount their experiences of being sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Leaving Neverland from 415 votes.

Leaving Neverland - S1E1

#2 - Leaving Neverland: Part 1

7.33

Season 1 - Episode 1

Part 1 of 2. A documentary about two men, now in their thirties, who recount their experiences of being sexually abused by Michael Jackson when they were children.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Leaving Neverland from 472 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020

Comments

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A powerful telling of the destructive power innate in the cult of celebrity. This is a really well told narrative of the excruciating rape of innocents and the long term damage of kept suppressed truths. The story is told with incontrovertible authenticity. This is an important film, not because of the perpetrator but because of the heart wrenching destruction that littered his legacy. This is only two testimonies of what was probably dozens of others whose lives were profoundly compromised by one man, masked by an illusion. I think it is also a wake-up call to a society blind to the danger of building its hopes and dreams around, and placing its faith in, the perceived intimacies and hollow promises of celebrity. I give this film a 9 (important) out of 10. [Documentary]

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This is not the story of Michael Jackson. This is the story of two boys growing up in the shadow of terrible sexual abuse without being able, for multiple reasons, to speak up. This is the story of how they leave that horrifying nightmare behind them and are able to speak their truth. This is the story of how justice failed over and over to other kids who had the mindset to speak up when they were children and who were vilified by the whole world because society was too in love with a singer to believe them. The testimonies are powerful, raw, real. You can tell they still have mixed feelings, about what "loving MJ" meant for them and how it affects them still to this day. You are allowed to have whatever feelings you want towards this documentary, except for surprise. The truth was there all along.

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This is ridiculous I don't believe none of this shit I also blame the parents why would you let your kids be alone with a grown man

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Enough proof that shows this docu is absolute BS!

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With everyone getting #metoo'ed these days, it's finally time we get to see one of the true originators of the trend get some love...

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That Michael Jackson is associated with the film is both a blessing and a curse. As the filmmakers have pointed out this isn’t really a documentary about Michael Jackson at all, but on the reality of what child sexual abuse is to so many survivors and an illuminating dissection of why so much of it goes unreported and the conflicting and hugely devastating psychological trauma that persists. Even if the allegations were untrue (which is highly unlikely) the film speaks some powerful truths about the nature of child sexual abuse. Of course, it’s Michael Jackson’s name that will bring so many people to watch it and it is a film that needs to be seen - for parents who think their children would always tell them if something was wrong, for survivors who live with the trauma and for the public at large who often would prefer to ignore this issue. Yet it will unfortunately also lead to cries of “liars” and “money-grabbers” ( I wonder how many of Jackson’s defenders would have bet their own child’s safety on their beliefs ? Horrifyingly I think the number is too high to contemplate). As a film it is visually repetitive, but Reed knows the film’s power is in the words spoken. Not a film to be enjoyed as such by anyone, but an important one and its initial impact and polarizing reaction does much to inform us that the power of celebrity even today is just as dangerous.

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Fuck this bullshit propaganda parading around two hacks looking to make millions of dollars off the disgraced legacy of a man who has been proven time and time again to have committed no crimes of any kind. The piles of fabrication, emotional manipulation, obvious editing, multiple takes, and other such hearsay in this "documentary" is so outstanding, I have to believe anyone who pushes this or buys in to it is actually stupid. You are stupid if you believe any of this. Shame the popular reviewers like David Ehrlich and others suit who try to criticize those that don't mindlessly buy in to such a tired template of fiction. Some videos to watch for further context: The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 1) Defaming the Dead: The Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 2) Michael Jackson Rebuttal (Part 3): Skeeving Slumberland all by Razorfist Leaving Neverland - evidence of multiple interview takes by Rob Ager

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I can forgive people for believing this film if they just watch it and do no further research into the subject. But this is clearly just another money-grab and the many mistakes and inconsistencies have proven that. Michael Jackson was autistic and couldn't always see when devious people were just using him for their own financial gain. He was too trusting of everyone. Anybody and everyone could walk into Neverland whether Michael was there or not and demand food from his cooks, play on the fairground rides, run riot round the mansions, or even sleep in his bed. Being autistic, one of his obsessions was all things Disney. Even before he bought Neverland, for his 24th Birthday, he hired the original voice actress for Snow White, Adriana Caselotti, along with the seven actors who dressed as the Seven Dwarfs at Disneyland to come to his house and serenade him to sleep. Another time, Michael was invited to the White House. When he arrived, he walked into a conference room and he saw many people dressed in suits ready to greet him. This scared him and he run into the library in the White House and locked himself in the toilets and wouldn't come out until they had all gone. This way of dealing with uncomfortable situations is common among people who are autistic. Some argue he wasn't autistic because in early interviews he has good eye contact. But another pop star, Mika, has also been diagnosed with autism, and he shows excellent eye contact and appears to be very comfortable in interviews. Macaulay Culkin once stated that Michael "has never been great at explaining himself," which is why he could never understand the reaction he got when he stated on camera that kids have slept in his room. He did clarify that the kids slept on the bed and he often slept on the floor. And as Culkin pointed out: "I don't think you understand, Michael's bedroom is like two stories, and has three bathrooms." It was more like sharing a house than a bedroom. Contradicting this mockumentary, many people who were there have verified that on these famous "sleepovers", there were always multiple people there including, Macaulay Culkin, Keiran Culkin, Brett Barnes, Natalie Barrett, Corey Feldman, Shanice Wilson, Aaron Carter, Omer Bhatti, Keira Chaplin, Michael Jackson's family members such as Taj and Brandi Jackson, as well as Michael Jackson's kids Prince, Paris and Bigi. As well as many, many more. So where did it all go wrong? In 1993, a guy named Evan Chandler told Michael that if he doesn't pay him $20 million, then he will go to newspapers claiming that Michael had molested his son, Jordie Chandler. Evan kept on pestering him for 6 months about this but Michael kept refusing until his attorney at the time stated that if Michael didn't pay, then he'd have to go to court and cancel his worldwide tour, losing him at least $100 million. Therefore his attorney arranged for Michael's insurance company to pay the $20 million. (All artists have insurance companies because they are sued all the time. If they didn't pay people off then they'd end up in court every day of their life. The song "Billie Jean" is about a woman trying to sue him, claiming that he’s the father of her son.) Michael then counter-sued the Chandler family for extortion/blackmail. Despite many police raids round Neverland and the FBI getting involved, they couldn't find any evidence for a criminal trial. But when it came out in the newspapers that Michael had "payed off" an accuser for child sexual abuse, this sent out a message to the world: "Why work, when you can sue Michael Jackson?" In 2003, a guy called Martin Bashir released a controversial documentary called "Living With Michael Jackson". He tricked Michael by saying that it was going to revive his reputation after the 1993 allegations. The reality was that Martin Bashir was just as harsh as the tabloid media and mocked Michael's autism and eccentric behaviour by calling him "disturbing". Believing Martin Bashir to be a decent journalist, Michael really opens up to him, showing him the tree that he often climbed to write his songs. Behind the scenes footage shows that Bashir encouraged Michael and couldn't praise him enough. Michael happily went along with him. But then Martin Bashir later recorded seriously judgemental commentary for the documentary. He basically used Michael like a monkey in a zoo. To Michael, Martin Bashir told him that he wanted to show the audience all the charity work he does for kids and so Martin himself arranged the most controversial scene in the whole documentary, in which Michael is sat next to a surviving cancer patient, Gavin Arvizo, and Martin is asking Michael about the allegations and about the sleepovers. Michael does admit to having many people (both kids and adults) sleep at Neverland and in his bedroom, but does specify that it's not just him and another kid. It's "many, many children" and that it's "not sexual." He also does specify that the kids sleep in the bed, while he sleeps on the floor. (Verified by Michael's adult friend, Frank Cascio who was at all the sleepovers along with the many kids and parents who joined them.) However it was those scenes in the film that made District Attorney Tom Sneddon believe he could finally prosecute Michael Jackson. When the documentary was released, the world's media went into uproar and to make matters worse, Gavin Arvizo who defended Michael in the documentary received a visit from Evan Chandler's lawyer, specifying how much money they could make if they claimed Michael had molested him. The police arrested Michael and he went through a 5 month trial in 2005. This is when Wade Robson (from "Leaving Neverland") defended Michael. If Michael really had been molesting Wade Robson all those years, then he took a HUGE risk putting him first on the stand to defend him in the trial! Doesn't make much sense to me. But this trial wasn't the Wade Robson Show, as he made out in "Leaving Neverland"... There were many others who defended Michael too, including Macaulay Culkin, Brett Barnes and Chris Tucker all of whom still defend him today. But as Michael's new attorney, Tom Mesereau pointed out, he didn't really need a defence team anyway because the prosecution side made themselves look ridiculous! The 8 thousand page court transcript of the trial is online for you to read. It may take some time but it's worth it for comedy purposes. I laughed out loud several times at what they were trying to claim and how they contradicted themselves. (There is also a book about the court case by Aphrodite Jones that's worth a read too.) Gavin Arvizo first claimed to a child protection officer that he had been molested before the Martin Bashir documentary... and when the outtake footage was shown in court, he then claimed he was molested just AFTER the documentary was released.... and then when further footage was shown of the Arvizo family defending Michael after the documentary was released, Gavin changed the molestation date again to months after the documentary. It was also proved in court that Gavin Arvizo had already lied in court for financial gain even before he met Michael Jackson. He tried to claim that his mother was raped by a security guard at a department store. The CCTV cameras proved that he was lying. The Arvizo family had quite a history of lying for financial gain. They had even told many celebrities that he couldn't afford the treatment for his cancer, when in fact, his father's insurance covered all costs. But they fooled many celebrities and attained thousands of dollars from them. The Arvizo family also tried to claim in court that Michael had kidnapped the whole family and took them to Miami and held them hostage. The dates of plane payments and witnesses proved that this was also untrue. Plus many people who were on the prosecution's side, including June Chandler, the mother of Jordie, actually said more to defend Michael than anyone. June even claimed that she always thought that Evan Chandler was in it for the money. So Michael was already proved innocent of all these false claims even before Wade Robson took the stand. After 5 months, the jury found Michael: Not Guilty on all charges. When Michael passed away in 2009, Wade Robson wrote this tribute to a friend via email: "Michael Jackson changed the world and, more personally, my life forever. He is the reason I dance, the reason I make music, and one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of humankind. He has been a close friend of mine for 20 years. His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever. I will miss him immeasurably, but I know that he is now at peace and enchanting the heavens with a melody and a moonwalk." In 2011, Wade attempted to gain employment as the lead choreographer for a Michael Jackson themed Cirque du Soleil production. He was rejected. His career in his words began to "crumble." In 2012, heavily in debt, he tried to sell a book to publishers claiming he had been abused by Michael Jackson. No publisher agreed to publish it. In 2013, he filed a civil lawsuit against the Jackson estate for up to $1.6 billion dollars. A court dismissed his claims in 2017 on the grounds that there were too many inconsistencies and a judge actually stated that “no rational trier of fact could possibly believe Robson’s sworn statements.” In 2019, "Leaving Neverland" is released but they claim "It's not about the money". One thing Wade Robson conveniently forgets to mention in the film is the fact that he was dating Michael Jackson's niece Brandi Jackson for seven years and it was Michael who suggested they date. But that doesn't fit in with the story that Michael wanted him to stay away from girls because they were "in a relationship”. In “Leaving Neverland”, Wade Robson claims that Michael Jackson was molesting him ’til he was 14 and then lost interest because he became too old for him and so he replaced him with Macauley Culkin… Culkin is two years older than Wade Robson so that doesn’t make much sense! Arguably the most laughable moment in the mockumentary is when James Safechuck pulls out a ring and tries to claim that Michael had done a mock wedding ceremony where they exchanged vows to each other. He then placed the ring on his finger. Why would a child’s ring fit so well on an adult’s finger? Safechuck was very clear in the documentary that the abuse stopped when he was 14. He was very specific about that - Watch the documentary again to see how specific he was. However he also claimed that he had been abused several times in a train station built on the Neverland premises. After doing some research, Mike Smallcombe proved that the train station wasn’t built until 1994, when James Safechuck was 16. Even the director of “Leaving Neverland” had to admit that Safechuck had made an error and when “Leaving Neverland” was made available for streaming, the train station error had been mysteriously edited out! Time travelling errors seem to be a Safechuck family trait. Jame’s mother claims in the mockumentary that when Michael Jackson died in 2009 she celebrated by dancing saying “he can’t hurt any more children.” In 2012 however she was following Michael Jackson fan pages on Twitter and sharing his music. In 2013, she claimed she had only just found out about the abuse. Many argue “we’ll never know what really went on” and that can be said for both in favour or against Michael. But in response, I’d say you can tell when someone is lying. Dan Reed, the director, had admitted that it’s a one-sided film and that he never attempted to interview anyone who was willing to defend Michael (including Macauley Culkin, Brett Barnes and Chris Tucker.) Four people have accused Michael Jackson of sexual molestation. 2 in his lifetime and now 2 after his death. 3 out of those 4 people (Evan Chandler, Robson and Safechuck) have been fully grown adults attempting to sue Michael or his estate for millions. The one child that accused him, Gavin Arvizo had already lied in court for financial gain.

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I don't know how to rate this.. I'm still feeling sick, but I do believe **Wade Robson**, **Jimmy Safechuck** and every other boy who spoke up before :heart:

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Let's face it guys.. I didn't want to believe it at first, but this stuff is legit. To this day I still strongly love MJ's music and doubt that would ever change in the future. But omg, fuck him for what he did to those kids. One thing is sure tho, until they grow up, I would **never** let my kids stay with anyone other than my own family. I feel that much should be obvious to all mentaly sane parents.

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