HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, won best documentary or nonfiction special at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday night.
Recall that the Dan Reed directed the four-hour film featured testimonies from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim to have suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the late Michael Jackson.
Speaking about his winning, Reed explained that prior to taking on the project, he didn’t know much about Jackson, nor did he have an opinion if Jackson was “guilty or innocent.”
“I thought the two guys [Robson and Safechuck] would never speak out in front of camera,” Reed said, per THR, adding that in talking to them, he was inclined to believe their claims in-part because they described what he considered a romantic relationship.
Reed also addressed Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special, Sticks & Stones, which referenced Leaving Neverland, the abuse allegations against Jackson, and the apparent movement to “cancel” the star. Chappelle even advised against watching the documentary, calling it “fucking gross.
Reed called Chappelle’s jokes “revolting” and “a calculated attack” against Robson and Safechuck. “I think that mocking the victims of child sexual assault isn’t a particularly clever thing to do,” Reed said. “It got some laughs because it was part of his bit about cancel culture …. I never said to cancel Michael, there’s nothing in the documentary that says people need to stop listening to his music.”
He added, “You can make jokes about so many things, why not do something brave?”