Earlier this week, much was said about the casting of Michael Jackson’s nephew for the role of the late singer in the upcoming biopic Lionsgate. Fans and media representatives, as well as various celebrities have expressed their thoughts about the choice, but if you ask the director of “Leaving Neverland”, this is not the conversation we should have. Director Dan Reed wants to know why more and more people are not outraged that the film was even made.
Dan Reed became known as a critic of Michael Jackson back in 2019, when he released the documentary Leaving Neverland. It tells about the long history of the pop star’s strange public behavior with boys. He also investigated the public allegations against him of child molestation, as well as various agreements and deals he reportedly made with the families of other alleged victims. It also featured extensive interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who spent a lot of time with Jackson and said they were sexually assaulted.
At that time, the documentary was widely distributed. It was shown on HBO and caused many to ask questions about Jackson’s behavior and legacy, but over the past four years, the accusations against Jackson have become quieter, and attention to his music has become popular again. Reed doesn’t understand why. This week, he published a first-person editorial in The Guardian and asked fans to reconsider what is happening around the film. Here is part of his quote…
The complete absence of outrage accompanying the announcement of this film tells us that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force operating from the afterlife. It seems that the press, his fans and most of the elderly people who grew up loving Jackson are ready to put aside his unhealthy relationships with children and just follow the music. I tell them this: even if you don’t believe a single word of what his numerous accusers have said; even if you are not concerned about police investigations and huge payments for the termination of the trial, how do you explain the absolutely indisputable fact that for many years Jackson spent countless nights alone in bed with boys? What was he doing with them, alone in his Neverland bedroom, with alarm bells ringing in the hallway? This is unacceptable by any standards.
Since the beginning of his childhood career in The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson has sold more than 400 million albums. He won 15 Grammy Awards, was in the top ten singles for five different decades and collected concert tickets around the world. He is considered one of the most famous and popular musicians in history, and when he died of an overdose, his funeral was reportedly watched by about two billion people.
He also turned his house into an amusement park, had many close relationships with boys several decades younger than himself and was accused in 1993 and 2005 of sexually abusing children. Charges were never brought in the first case, and it was settled out of court. He was acquitted during the second trial. Since then, several other victims have come forward with their own accusations.
His defenders claim that he was a strange, childish man who fell victim to false accusations and people trying to exploit his naivety. These defenders also point to previous statements by Robson and Seifchak made by children and young people, in which they said that the singer never molested them.
In his editorial, Dan Reed called the lack of outrage around the project “deafening silence.” He asked why “in the era” of “furious indignation” about projects that are perceived as humiliating vulnerable groups, no one talks about problems with this project. He also directly asked the filmmakers in his article how they would react to Jackson’s behavior with children in the film.
At the moment, it is unclear how the film, which is produced by Graham King of Bohemian Rhapsody and directed by Antoine Fuqua, will tell about these accusations or his close relationships with different children. The late singer’s estate is involved, which has led many to believe that won’t happen, but we probably won’t know until the movie finally comes out. No release date has been set, but most likely we will see it sometime in 2024.