Leaving Neverland Director Criticizes Michael Jackson Biopic as A Complete Whitewash

Exploring Michael Jackson's life through a new cinematic lens.

by Nouman Rasool
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Leaving Neverland Director Criticizes Michael Jackson Biopic as A Complete Whitewash
© Kevork Djansezian-Pool/Getty Images

The highly anticipated Michael Jackson biopic has come under fire from Dan Reed, the filmmaker behind the controversial documentary "Leaving Neverland." Reed has openly criticized the biopic's portrayal of the pop icon, labeling it as "a complete whitewash" of the allegations made against Jackson.

In an interview with The Times of London, Reed shared his insights after reviewing a draft of the movie's script, which is set for release next year. He expressed concerns over the narrative's handling of the serious allegations brought forth by Wade Robson and James Safechuck in his 2019 documentary.

These allegations assert that Jackson had abused them when they were children. Reed commented, "It's an out-and-out attempt to completely rewrite the allegations and dismiss them out of hand, including complete fabrications.

Not once does it show him alone with any boys, despite it being well-documented that he shared his bed with young children for years."

Star-Studded Biopic Team

The biopic boasts a renowned creative team, including director Antoine Fuqua of "Training Day" fame, and John Logan, an Oscar-nominated writer known for his work on "Gladiator," "The Aviator," and "Hugo." The film stars Colman Domingo as Jackson's allegedly abusive father, Joe, and Miles Teller as Jackson's manager, John Branca.

Despite controversies surrounding Jackson's legacy, there appears to be a resurgence in his popularity. Sony recently confirmed a deal to acquire half of Jackson's catalog for $1.2 billion, marking the largest transaction ever for a single musician's work.

Furthermore, Jackson's music has seen a significant increase in consumption, with a 38 percent rise in on-demand streams last year, totaling 6.5 billion globally, according to Billboard. Additionally, the musical "MJ," which celebrates Jackson's life and features his music, has achieved success on Broadway and is now making its debut in London, with further dates in Germany and Australia. Notably, the musical does not address the abuse allegations that have marred Jackson's reputation.

Michael Jackson
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