Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed, details allegations of sexual abuse leveled against the late music icon, and features interviews with accusers James Safechuck and Wade Robson.
In the film, Safechuck and Robson -- now married adults with sons of their own -- claim they engaged in sexual relationships with Jackson that started when both were underage, 10 and 7 years old, respectively. Through on-camera interviews, they recall how they each first met the music icon and later, became closer and closer with the pop star.
As has been the case with Jackson's long and complicated history of facing similar allegations -- all of which the singer staunchly denied while alive -- there are many who are speaking out against his alleged actions, and many others who fervently reject and rebuke the allegations against the entertainer.
Many viewers spoke out in support of Safechuck and Robeson, expressed their disgust with the claims made in the film, and seemingly called out those who still support Jackson in light of the multiple allegations.
I just watched Part One of #LeavingNeverland on @HBO. It was such a disturbing view of the grooming process, from the worlds biggest pop star. I need time to digest what I watched before saying more.
As a former child actress, I can’t help but watch this documentary and think about how wrong it is for children to be put in the position of performing for the soul purpose of pleasing adults. It’s such a slippery, dangerous, often abusive slope. #LeavingNeverland
— Listening in the Dark ✨Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) March 4, 2019
Michael Jackson super fans are really going hard in my comments for simply sharing an article by a cultural critic who shared his opinion on the doc. This is one of the kindler, gentler comments. I mean, Annie, are you okay? ‘Cause this is a lot. 🥺 https://t.co/GWQIIPiyKa
Just watched Neverland doc - riveting, as has been so much on HBO with Richard Plepler at the helm, now resigned. I don't usually speak publicly about the inner workings of the/my biz, but just have to say...best boss I'll ever have.
However, there were many who came to Jackson's defense. Some criticized the documentary itself for how it portrays the accusers while others pointed out how the singer was acquitted on all counts when tried on multiple criminal charges, including four counts of molesting a minor, in June 2005.
Many critics also called into question the reliability of Safechuck and Robeson -- often without clear cause or justification -- including Jackson's nephew, Taj Jackson.
You are right. I’ve been around my uncle only thousands and thousands of hours. And since my uncle is not here to defend himself, the credibility of the accusers matter. And Wade and James have none. https://t.co/fF0OgYXUBz
MY MEMORIES. AND THANK GOD 4 ME, MY MEMORIES OF MJ WERE MOSTLY FOND, ASIDE FROM R 1 & ONLY FIGHT BECAUSE HE INCORRECTLY FEARED I WOULD TURN ON HIM, & MAKE UP LIES. I NEVER DID. I NEVER WOULD! I PRAY THOSE BOYS CAN SLEEP W THAT SAME CLARITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS! LET GOD B THY JUDGE!
michael jackson was investigated for 10+ years (phones tapped, computers tapped, etc) and they found absolutely NOTHING. ask yourself, would law enforcement allow a black man to get away with such heinous crimes? #LeavingNeverland#MJInnocent
from a storytelling standpoint #LeavingNeverland is a very bad documentary. I’m up to listen the stories of survivors of any abuse. I’m on their side always, but this being about the greatest megastar in the world and a dead person, I expected a lot more of facts and research.
Michael Jackson was under FBI surveillance for well over a decade. They found NOTHING to substantiate claims of child abuse. He was also fully exonerated following his '05 trial. #LeavingNeverland fails to highlight these FACTS - and MJ is no longer here to defend himself.
There's a whole lot of lying going on ... But in the words of @MichaelJackson ... "Lies run sprints truth runs marathons" ... Flying like the Eagles ... we'll find out who is gonna make it in the long run ... See u @ the top or from the top... #liar ... xoxoxo #MichaelJackson🕯🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/ogmOd3Kf4U
My sweet Michael Jackson was a kind compassionate loving person never said an unkind thing about anyone. Leave him alone! This documentary is about nothing but money. The man is dead let him rest. I love Michael. Ms. Winfrey why, why, would you continue to defame Mr. Jackson name pic.twitter.com/vypKe73xbz
The Jackson estate also also filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO ahead of its premiere, calling the documentary "unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself."
For more on Leaving Neverland, and the allegations presented by Safechuck and Robeson, watch the video below.
Leaving Neverland airs Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. ET and concludes Monday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland airs Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET.