Last night, HBO aired the first half of Dan Reed's four-hour Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland. Combining lengthy - and frequently painful - testimonies from Wade Robson and James Safechuck (two adult men who say they spent their childhood years being groomed and ultimately molested by the King of Pop) with a parade of candid photos and damning documentation, Reed's film is both a devastating indictment of the world's last true Mega-Star and a shattering portrait of the lives he left in his wake. It was a truly harrowing watch.
Unsurprisingly, HBO's decision to air the doc has caused no small amount of controversy, with the Jackson estate suing the network for $100M and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference writing a letter to the network asking them to keep the film off the air. HBO declined that request, and twenty minutes into Leaving Neverland's premiere, the Jackson estate dropped a two-hour and twenty minute Jackson concert film on YouTube, a fairly transparent diversionary tactic that ... well, if the reactions on social media are any indication, that effort was not entirely successful.
Given everything said and shown in last night's doc, we figured the Birth.Movies.Death. crowd might want an open thread to discuss what's been revealed thus far. Did you watch the first half of Reed's film? Why or why not? What did you think of Robson and Safechuck? What do you make of the furor surrounding the doc? Assuming you tuned in for part one, are you going to see it through tonight, with part two? Sound off in the comments below, and - as always - remember to be chill with one another. This is obviously a topic some folks are incredibly passionate about, and passionate discussion's totally fine as long as we're not attacking one another.
The second half of Dan Reed's Leaving Neverland airs on HBO this evening. It will be immediately followed by an interview with Reed, Robson and Safechuck, hosted by Oprah Winfrey.