Sundance Film Alleges Abuse By ‘King Of Pop,’ Michael Jackson
PARK CITY, Utah – A film making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival has garnered national attention surrounding allegations against the former pop star and music legend Michael Jackson.
“Leaving Neverland” premiered Friday at the Egyptian Theatre on Main Street in Park City.
The four-hour film was named after Jackson’s famous Neverland Ranch theme park home, and explored the story of two men who claimed they were sexually abused by Jackson.
The King of Pop was acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005, four years before his death.
Supporters of the beloved music icon have criticized the film, flooding social media and calling out Sundance officials, who told corporate sponsors they would not remove the film from the festival.
The backlash has been so strong that law enforcement beefed up their presence, both inside and outside the Egyptian theatre, and along Main Street.
KSL 5 News spoke to one woman who came to the festival from south Texas. Monique Cloud’s name was on the wait list for the premier of the film.
Cloud said she wanted to see the documentary herself before passing judgement.
“Like a lot of people, (to me the film presents) different opinions and whether or not it’s even fair to tell a story without someone being present to tell their side,” she said. “I think people have a position on that, but I think everyone’s story deserves to be heard from their perspective. This film is giving at least two people an opportunity to do that.”
Despite the amount of controversy leading up to the film’s debut, only two demonstrators showed up to protest.
The film will also play in Salt Lake City. Police were expected to be on hand for the premiere there, as well.
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