‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Calls Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson Biopic a ‘Complete Whitewash’ of Abuse Allegations

Michael Jackson is the latest music legend to receive the Hollywood biopic treatment thanks to Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming film “Michael.”

The project, which recently began production, is produced in collaboration with Jackson’s estate and is being billed as the definitive cinematic take on the pop star’s legacy. Early statements and casting announcements from the film’s creative team have focused on Jackson’s positive contributions to the music industry and their intentions to honor his legacy. But the question of how Fuqua will address the sexual abuse allegations against Jackson still looms over the film.

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Jackson denied the claims that he sexually abused young boys throughout his career. But the 2019 HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” brought renewed attention to the allegations, offering new details that lent credibility to his accusers in the eyes of many viewers.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed claimed that he saw a draft of the “Michael” script, written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan. Reed called it “a complete whitewash” that ignores facts about the allegations against Jackson.

“It’s an out-and-out attempt to completely rewrite the allegations and dismiss them out of hand, and contains complete lies,” Reed said of the draft. “You never even see him alone with any boys, when it is a matter of fact that he shared his bed with small children for many years.”

While this is the first time that Reed has claimed to have concrete details about the project’s handling of Jackson’s personal life, he has long been critical of the film’s existence.

“What the total absence of outrage accompanying the announcement of this movie tells us is that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force, operating from beyond the grave,” he wrote in a February op-ed published in The Guardian. “It seems that the press, his fans and the vast older demographic who grew up loving Jackson are willing to set aside his unhealthy relationship with children and just go along with the music.”

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