The controversial Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse the King of Pop of sexually abusing them as children, has received five Emmy nominations, per People.
The nominations are for the following: outstanding directing for a documentary/nonfiction program; outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program; outstanding documentary or nonfiction special; outstanding sound mixing for a nonfiction program; and outstanding sound editing for a nonfiction program.
The HBO movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and has been both praised and criticized. While some believe the movie’s bombshell allegations confirm suspicions about Jackson’s affinity for young boys, others claim they’re part of a cash-grab meant to profit off of denigrating the singer’s legacy.
“This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson,” the Jackson estate said in a statement in January, before the documentary’s Sundance premiere.
Before Jackson’s death, both Robson and Safechuck denied being molested by the late singer. Robson even appeared as a witness for Jackson’s defense in 2005, when he was accused and later acquitted of child molestation charges.
But People reports that HBO stood by the film prior to its release — even in the midst of the controversy swirling around it.
“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland. … This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the accusations against Jackson have been tough for his fans to accept. France-based Jackson fan clubs — The Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street, and On The Line — are suing Robson and Safechuck for their accusations, which Emmanuel Ludot, the lawyer representing the groups, claims is equal to “a genuine lynching” of the late pop star.
Jackson’s former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, claims that the accusations against the star are untrue, and says that the documentary called Michael Jackson: Chase The Truth will “ruin” the career of Leaving Neverland director, Dan Reed.
In addition, Variety reported that one of the Jackson estate’s lawyers, John Branca, believes that Reed’s documentary is part of the “racist” movement to make Jackson pay for the fame and success he achieved.
“There’s a large segment of the press that doesn’t care whether Michael is innocent or guilty because it’s not controversial enough,” he said, which he believes is rooted in “racism.”