Leaving Neverland may still have the Jackson family up in arms, but the rest of the world will soon get a chance to see the documentary that’s rankled many in the wake of its showing at Sundance.
HBO has finally set an airdate for the documentary, which explores decades of alleged abuse by Jackson at his estate. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the four-hour documentary will air in two parts, the first on March 3 with the remaining two hours airing on March 4. This comes on the heels of rumors that the Jackson family was upset about the documentary and threatened a lawsuit over the film.
After Leaving Neverland’s debut at Sundance in January, Jackson’s estate called the film “a tabloid character assassination” and insisted it “isn’t a documentary,” while his family called director Dan Reed and the film’s two accusers “opportunists.”
Reed responded to the scathing statements in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “They have a very precious asset to protect. Every time a song plays, a cash register goes ‘ka-ching,'” It doesn’t surprise me that they’ve come out fighting in defense of their asset.”
Scheduling an airdate is essentially HBO giving its documentary a vote of confidence, and shows it isn’t backing down from Reed’s work. The director thinks the Jackson family hasn’t even seen the film they’re criticizing, though if they have an HBO subscription they’ll have their chance next month.