“Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King’s upcoming Michael Jackson biopic has been picking up steam in recent weeks, enlisting Antoine Fuqua to direct and casting the pop star’s nephew Jafaar Jackson to play him. The project comes nearly four years after Dan Reed’s HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” shed new light on the child molestation allegations made against Jackson. But while the documentary caused many fans to see Jackson in a new light, the series’ director says he still thinks the allegations aren’t being taken seriously enough.
In a new op-ed in The Guardian, Reed reiterated his criticisms of Jackson and why he still believes the singer is guilty despite being acquitted in court.
“The most shocking insight of ‘Leaving Neverland,’ and the most painful for any parent to accept, is that, as part of the grooming process, the predator makes the child fall in love with him, drawing them into a kind of guilty complicity in the abuse,” Reed wrote. “So child sexual abuse victims will – bafflingly to the uninitiated – cover up for their abusers and protect them for years or decades. That is why Robson became a key defence witness at the 2005 child sexual abuse trial of Jackson and was instrumental in getting him acquitted. The jury believed Robson and found the singer not guilty. He now admits that he lied in court to protect his mentor and abuser.”
Reed went on to criticize the media for its coverage of the project and what he sees as downplaying of the allegations.
“What the total absence of outrage accompanying the announcement of this movie tells us is that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force, operating from beyond the grave,” he wrote. “It seems that the press, his fans and the vast older demographic who grew up loving Jackson are willing to set aside his unhealthy relationship with children and just go along with the music.”
Reed concluded his piece by writing: “To the film-makers, I say: how will you represent the moment when Jackson, a grown man in his 30s, takes a child by the hand and leads him into that bedroom? How will you depict what happens next? By sidestepping the question of Jackson’s predilection for sleeping with young boys, you are broadcasting a message to millions of survivors of child sexual abuse. That message is: if a paedophile is rich and popular enough, society will forgive him.”