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HBO, C4 prep Jackson doc

US premium cabler HBO and Channel 4 in the UK have revealed details of their documentary about two men who claim they were sexually abused by the late Michael Jackson.

Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland is from UK-based AMOS Pictures and directed by Dan Reed, with the two-part coproduced show set to be premiered this spring by the two broadcasters.

The show features interviews with James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who were young boys aged 10 and eight when they claim they were befriended by Jackson in the early 1990s. Both say they then faced a sustained period of abuse by the singer.

Reed said: “If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to.

“It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets.”

Tom Porter, C4’s commissioning editor, added: “Dan Reed has succeeded in making an extraordinarily compelling, yet moving film about two men whose lives were changed forever by one of the most famous men who ever lived.

“Channel 4 is immensely proud to have commissioned this film and created the opportunity for James’ and Wade’s experiences to be so sensitively told.”

In related news, C4 has named Pete Stevens as its head of sport with a remit to lead on the broadcaster’s forthcoming coverage of the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo and its Formula 1 motor racing coverage.

He will join the broadcaster in March having previously worked for the BBC. Stevens will report to C4’s head of entertainment, events and live Ed Havard.

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Drama Awards 2019
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