Leaving Neverland, HBO’s controversial documentary on two men who alleged they were sexually abused as children by the late Michael Jackson, was named outstanding documentary or nonfiction special at Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
The King of Pop’s estate immediately slammed Emmy voters and called the win a “farce.”
“For a film that is a complete fiction to be honored in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce,” the estate said in a statement to the media.
“Not one shred of proof supports this completely one-sided, so-called documentary which was made in secrecy and for which not one person outside of the two subjects and their families were interviewed,” the statement continued.
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The two-part film from director Dan Reed follows James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who said they were 7 and 10 years old when the alleged abuse began.
Reed attended the awards ceremony in downtown Los Angeles, and thanked Safechuck and Robson during his acceptance speech.
Backstage, the director told reporters he began to believe the men because of the “depth of detail” Robson provided about allegedly being “groomed” by Jackson.
“That kind of made it much more credible for me and then of course, we did a huge amount of background research on whether it was possible for them to experience the things they said he did,” Reed explained.
The documentary premiered on March 3, and was immediately criticized by Jackson’s fans and his estate.
Leaving Neverland was also nominated for sound editing, sound mixing, directing, and picture editing, but lost in those categories.
The Creative Arts Emmy Awards air Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on FXX.