A new documentary about past allegations of child sexual abuse made against the late Michael Jackson drew emotional reactions after it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on Friday.
Leaving Neverland, which the King of Pop's estate has denounced, focuses on accusations by two men, choreographer Wade Robson and computer programmer James Safechuck, and was directed by Dan Reed. The three took part in a Q&A after the screening of the four-hour film at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, UT and received a standing ovation from the packed crowd, Deadline reported.
Earlier, the Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon tweeted, "On a 10-min break halfway through Sundance's 4-hour Michael Jackson child sex abuse documentary. Whatever you thought you knew or were aware of, the content of this is more disturbing than you could imagine. And again, we're only halfway through."
"It's halftime at the four-hour Michael Jackson doc and I'm already gonna need 400 showers to ever feel clean again. #Sundance," IndieWire film critic David Erlich tweeted.
The Los Angeles Times' Amy Kaufman said there was an "incredibly emotional reaction from the audience."
"One audience member says he was molested as a child and that Robson and Safechuck 'are going to do a lot more f--king good in the world than Michael f--king Jackson,'" she tweeted.
Healthcare professionals were present in the theater lobby to help any audience members upset by the film's content. Two pro-Jackson protesters were spotted outside. A few police officers were stationed outside the theater, tweeted Variety's Matt Donnelly.