The estate of late pop music icon Michael Jackson has offered a response to Leaving Neverland’s Outstanding Documentary win for this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
The controversial documentary from premium cable network HBO takes an in-depth look into Jackson’s alleged child sexual abuse focusing on accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck. On Saturday, the docu-film was awarded an Emmy for the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special category. Jackson’s estate was quick to shoot down the recognition in a statement to People.
A spokesperson of the estate lambasted Emmy voters for the decision telling the outlet:
“For a film that is a complete fiction to be honored in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce.”
“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,” the statement adds.
In the Emmy-winning docu-film, Robson and Safechuck and their families had a closely tied relationship to the King of Pop as kids. The latter–who was cast in the artist’s Pepsi ad from 1986–claims that Jackson taught him how to practice masturbation. The former met the late singer at the age of 5, alleging that the star kissed him and performed oral sex on him.
The singer’s estate along with Optimum Productions filed a lawsuit against HBO and Time Warner demanding USD100 million in damages when the doc came out last February. The court documents claim that airing the docufilm violated a non-disparagement clause.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.