HomeNews'Leaving Neverland' Director Dan Reed Condemns Fuqua's Michael Jackson Biopic

‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Dan Reed Condemns Fuqua’s Michael Jackson Biopic

Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming biopic about Michael Jackson has come under fire from Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed.

In a strongly worded article in The Guardian on Sunday, Reed thundered that the new film would be glorifying Jackson for his pedophilia. The biopic, being produced for Lionsgate, will star Michael Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar, in the leading role.

Reed’s own documentary was based on interviews he conducted with two men—Wade Robson and James Safechuck—who say they were sexually abused by Michael when they were children.

In his Guardian article, Reed wrote that “No one is talking about ‘cancelling’ this movie, which will glorify a man who raped children” while adding “What the total absence of outrage accompanying the announcement of this movie tells us is that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force, operating from beyond the grave. It seems that the press, his fans and the vast older demographic who grew up loving Jackson are willing to set aside his unhealthy relationship with children and just go along with the music.”

Reed added that his motivation in making Leaving Neverland was “to bring to the widest possible audience an insight into how children fall victim to any sexual abuser, the psychology of the predator and, above all, the grooming process. Maybe we could help prevent young children from falling prey to this most scarring, crippling of crimes…Setting fire to Jackson’s reputation, already charred around the edges by multiple allegations and payments of hush money, was not the primary goal of the documentary. But it seemed like a necessary collateral impact: if you know that your idol has abused children, should that not make celebrating his personality a little more problematic, to say the least?”

Reed also criticized the entertainment industry press and media for their “deafening silence” in not condemning Fuqua’s new biopic. In his blistering article, he added: “To the film-makers, I say: how will you represent the moment when Jackson, a grown man in his 30s, takes a child by the hand and leads him into that bedroom? How will you depict what happens next? By sidestepping the question of Jackson’s predilection for sleeping with young boys, you are broadcasting a message to millions of survivors of child sexual abuse. That message is: if a paedophile is rich and popular enough, society will forgive him.”

Although early accusations involving the singer had been settled out of court for $22 million in 1994, the case was reopened in 2003 after the release of the documentary Living with Michael Jackson. In a subsequent trial, he was found not guilty and continued to protest his innocence until his death in 2009.

Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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