Ofcom rejects complaints over Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland

The regulator has released a statement in response to some viewers’ claims that the film was biased against the singer

Leaving Neverland (C4)

Ofcom, the UK’s government-approved communications regulator, has rejected 230 complaints claiming that Channel 4’s Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland was biased.

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The documentary, which aired in two 90-minute episodes over two consecutive nights earlier in March, alleges that Jackson was a paedophile, and follows the detailed and graphic accounts of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

A handful of viewers have complained that the film, made by Bafta-winning British director Dan Reed, does not place enough emphasis on the fact that Jackson, who died in 2009, was cleared of child sex offences while he was still alive, and that the allegations have not been proven in a court of law or confirmed by the Jackson family.

“We understand that this two-part documentary gave rise to strong opinions from viewers,” Ofcom said in a statement. “In our view, the allegations were very clearly presented as personal testimonies and it was made clear that the Jackson family rejects them.”

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The regulatory body also dismissed a further four complaints that objected to the graphic nature of the two men’s account of their alleged abuse at Jackson’s hands. According to Ofcom, Channel 4 warned viewers at the start of the documentary about the nature of the film’s contents.