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Trending Story: Shocking Michael Jackson ‘#LeavingNeverland’ Documentary Sets Social Media on Fire

Part one of the controversial Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, premiered Sunday on HBO, and sent the internet into an uproar with viewers — and celebs — taking to Twitter to voice their reactions to the allegations made in the film.

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.

 

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.

Following its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Leaving Neverland was met with immediate backlash from Jackson’s fans and from the singer’s family, who slammed the production in the press repeatedly.

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.”

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.

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