Michael Jackson's Estate responds after 'Leaving Neverland' wins Emmy for outstanding documentary
HBO's high-profile documentary Leaving Neverland, which addresses allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, took home the award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, and the late singer's estate is slamming the decision.
"For a film that is a complete fiction to be honored in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce," the Jackson estate said in a statement released to ET, in response to the film's win.
"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 further claims.
Leaving Neverland, a two-part HBO documentary focusing on accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct leveled by James Safechuck and Wade Robson, has been met with polarizing responses since its release, and was slammed by the Jackson family, at the time, for being a "rehash of dated and discredited allegations."
Meanwhile, director Dan Reed -- who thanked Safechuck and Robson during his acceptance speech on Saturday -- spoke with ET's Denny Directo on the red carpet ahead of the show and opened up about what getting recognized by the Emmys with five nominations meant to him and to the documentary.
"It does help to validate the film, [which has] been so controversial," Reed said, adding that increased awareness of the doc "confronts people with a crime that they don't really want to know about, and wish didn't exist."
The 54-year-old British director admitted that he and his producing partners never expected the film to have such a big cultural impact and to divide people so sharply between the film's supporters and vehement detractors.
"We thought it would make some noise, but we kind of thought people would go, 'Oh yeah, it's another film about the allegations against Michael Jackson.' But this has been taking us completely unawares," Reed admitted. "It's been a tsunami of love, of hatred, of attention and noise, of thoughtful critical reaction and unthinking reaction. It's been a journey into the heart of the world media."
"I just hope there are people out there, who have had a similar experience to the guys in my film, who feel more at ease with themselves having watched it, and have a way to articulate what happened to them," Reed added.
For more on the controversial documentary and its aftermath, watch the video below.
The Creative Arts Emmys air Saturday, Sept. 21 on FXX.