I recorded it after watching Man United triumph in the Champions League and I went from sky high to decidedly miserable in the space of a couple of hours.
The doc was a truly harrowing and shocking watch that was honestly difficult to get through – and I’m an MJ fan.
The first two-hour part of the documentary aired on Channel 4 last night, following the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim to have been sexually abused by the singer when they were children.
Some of the alleged abuse they were recounting was tough to hear, and while I won’t repeat it here, one look at social media this morning tells you how appalled audiences were.
Many viewers took to Twitter to express their disgust at some of the allegations, with numerous people claiming to have been made to feel repulsed by what they had heard.
Another said: “I watched part 1 of Leaving Neverland and it was so terribly hard to watch.
“I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson’s for years but after that I just can’t anymore. I feel so empty and sad after watching. So so hard to watch and listen to.”
The thing is, even after hearing all these allegations, people still found them difficult to believe:
Many also found Leaving Neverland to be almost entirely untrue and unfair that it occurred after Michael Jackson his passing so that he wasn’t able to defend himself.
Although this kind of reaction to the documentary was highlighted by people as reasons why victims feel too scared to come forward:
This comes after a number of stations have banned the singer’s music from their stations.
New Zealand stations have almost entirely removed the his work from their playlists, after two of the country’s largest networks – which own most of its commercial stations – said they would no longer play Jackson’s songs.
“Michael Jackson isn’t currently on any MediaWorks Radio stations’ playlists,” company director for radio Leon Wratt said in a statement. “This is a reflection of our audiences and their preferences – it is our job to ensure our radio stations are playing the music people want to hear.”
Furthermore, four major stations in Canada have also stopped playing Jackson’s music, including three in Montreal and one in Quebec.
Several people were also calling for a boycott of his music.
One person wrote on Twitter:
“I will never listen to his music again. What a sick individual.People keep talking about this is one sided.”
Another wrote: “*Deletes all Michael Jackson music from my Spotify f****nggrim allyourheroesareproblematic.”
A third added: “If you have ever had any doubt about Michael Jackson well the truth is out. I haven’t been able to listen for years. His music should be taken off the air!!!”
From a personal standpoint, listening to these allegations is heartbreaking because I grew up loving MJ and his music.
To hear stories like the ones in the documentary about one of your idols is always going to be difficult, but putting that aside in the interest of objectivity I have to say I believe what Wade Robson and James Safechuck are saying.
We’ll see how the rest of Leaving Neverland plays out tonight when part two airs on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.
Whichever side of the fence you sit on, though, you can’t deny it’s unmissable TV.
Images via Getty/HBO/Channel 4/Twitter