Director of the documentary Michael Jackson: Biopic ‘Will Glorify A Man Who Raped Children’
The director who made a documentary about Michael Jackson’s alleged child sexual abuse warned Sunday that a new Lionsgate biopic about the King of Pop will “glorify a man who raped children.”
It was announced last week that a cinematic dramatization of Jackson’s life, approved by his estate, is underway and that Jackson will be portrayed by his nephew Jaafar Jackson.
“No one is talking about ‘cancelling’ this movie, which will glorify a man who raped children,” ‘Leaving Neverland’ director Dan Reed wrote in The Guardian.
“What the complete lack of outrage accompanying the announcement of this film tells us is that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force, operating from beyond the grave,” he continued. “It seems the press, his fans and the vast older demographic who grew up loving Jackson are ready to put aside his unhealthy relationship with kids and just follow the music.”
Filming is expected to begin this year. Lionsgate said the film will delve into many parts of the singer’s career, “including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time,” Variety reported.
Reed’s 2019 Emmy-winning documentary featured two men – Wade Robson and James Safechuck – detailing the sexual abuse they say Jackson inflicted on them as boys. Jackson’s estate denied the allegations.
Jackson has faced several child molestation allegations. He was acquitted in a case at a 2005 trial where “140 witnesses … painted conflicting portraits of the 46-year-old international pop star as a pedophile or Peter Pan,” wrote the New York Times.
In a warning to the filmmakers, including the project’s director, Antoine Fuqua, Reed concluded: “How are you going to portray the moment when Jackson, a grown man in his thirties, takes a child by the hand and leads him into this room ? How will you describe what happens next? By sidestepping the question of Jackson’s predilection for sleeping with young boys, you send a message to millions of survivors of child sexual abuse. That message is this: if a pedophile is rich and popular enough, society will forgive him. »
Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50.
Need help? Visit RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website.
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