The Michael Jackson documentary in which two men allege in detail how the pop icon molested them as boys has begun airing on HBO, prompting a storm of reaction to and assessments of Leaving Neverland. Here's a sample:
- Corey Feldman: The former child star is out with a fierce, all-caps defense of Jackson on Twitter. A (de-capitalized) snippet: "MJ never once swore in my presence, never touched me inappropriately, & never ever suggested we should be lovers in any way!" Feldman writes that he's skeptical Jackson could have exercised that kind of self-control toward him if he were truly a pedophile. The full statement can be read in one take at allhiphop.
- From an accuser: Billboard highlights this quote from accuser Wade Robson early in the documentary: "He was one of the kindest, most gentle, loving, caring people I knew. And he also sexually abused me, for seven years."
- Director's view: Director Dan Reed talks with Mike Pesca at Slate and explains, among other things, why the film is so explicit about the sex acts. "Jackson represented himself as someone who had an innocent interest in children but was intimate with them, and close to them, and physically affectionate and all that," he says. "We had to make very clear that this was sex." As for all the places that accuser James Safechuck recounts they had sex, Reed says, "I mean, my jaw hit the floor." Reed thinks Jackson created Neverland as a "children's paradise" to lure kids. The full interview, here, touches on a range of subjects about the film.