‘Leaving Neverland’: Michael Jackson’s Estate is Livid Over the Documentary’s Emmy Win
Leaving Neverland was a massive hit. The documentary that grappled with sex abuse allegations against the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, garnered plenty of media attention upon its release. The production house behind it was also slapped with a lawsuit over the details in the documentary by Jackson’s estate. That didn’t stop the Television Academy from honoring the documentary with an illustrious Emmy Award, handed down during a two-night event this weekend. Not everyone was thrilled by the win, however. Jackson’s estate is reportedly livid over the film’s category nomination and the win.
Leaving Neverland Wins an Emmy for Oustanding Documentary
Leaving Neveerland’s Outstanding Documentary Special win seemed like a done deal months ago. While many fans were rooting for Fyre to take home the top prize, it was evident that Leaving Neverland was the front-runner. The special took home the Emmy during a two-day ceremony a week ahead of the Sept. 22 aired awards show.
While many fans and critics can respect the time, effort and detail put into the special; there is one group of people who are livid to see the team behind Leaving Neverland take home an Emmy. Jackson’s estate spoke out shortly after the winner was announced, and they are far from thrilled.
Jackson’s estate has taken issue with the category in which the documentary was nominated
Jackson’s estate released a statement regarding Leaving Neverland’s win. The first issue the statement addressed was the category in which the special was nominated. The statement calls the nomination a “farce” and attempts to call into question the validity of the production team’s claims. The estate went on to say, “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,”
Leaving Neverland was competing against extraordinary documentaries in its category. The other nominees included Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, a documentary special produced by Netflix. It also competed against The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Jane Fonda in Five Acts. Both specials were aired on HBO. Love, Gilda and Minding The Gap rounded out the group. Mind The Gap was produced by Hulu, while Love, Gilda was aired on CNN.
There is no denying that Leaving Neverland was controversial. The release of the special caused a media stir and brought the sex abuse allegations against Jackson back into the forefront. Jackon was accused of sexual abuse multiple times by multiple children. Several children alleged they were invited to share Jackson’s bed. One of the subjects from Leaving Neverland claims Jackson taught him how to masturbate.
Michael Jackson’s estate is suing HBO
Back in February 2019, Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO and its parent company, Time Warner. The lawsuit attempted to thwart the release of Leaving Neverland. HBO did release a statement regarding the lawsuit when news of it became public. They noted that they had absolutely no plans on changing the release of the special. The special was released on schedule.
According to People, the lawsuit hinged on a 1992 contract signed by HBO. The agreement, which is linked to a televised concert aired that year, allegedly has a clause regarding disparaging remarks attached. The clause supposedly prohibits HBO from making any disparaging remarks about the King of Pop. Jackson’s estate has argued that HBO broke the provision by producing and airing Leaving Neverland.