The disturbing details were essential, according to Dan Reed.
Leaving Neverland's first trailer dropped earlier this week reviving questions about its filmmaker's intentions. The documentary's director, Dan Reed, recently gave an interview in anticipation of these concerns. He discussed the impact of Michael Jackson's death on the film and explained why the inclusion of graphic details was essential to the narrative.
"It may have been more difficult to make if he were alive today," Reed stated. "People are still very much afraid of Jackson and his lawyers. As I went around speaking to people who were associated with the investigations, they were afraid of Jackson’s people’s ability to shut down a lot of the victims. They employ unscrupulous PIs, and are very litigious. The power of his machine is very terrifying."
This fear may have discouraged other potential victims from coming forward. "I believe there were many other victims. We wanted to focus on James and Wade, and their families, who had very long relationships with Jackson," Reed continued. "I’m sure there are others out there who will come out when the time is right for them. We’ll see."
The testimonies shared by both men shocked those who attended the film's premiere. Dan Reed explained the necessary presence of the upsetting details. "We had to establish that actual sexual activity was taking place. For so many years Jackson claimed that he shared a bed with children for completely innocent reasons," he said. "If we hadn’t had these very graphic, shocking descriptions of the sexual activity that took place people might just think that it was only hugs that were a bit intimate, or slightly inappropriate brushing of cheeks. We thought it was important to make clear that this was sex, not just affectionate touching."