PUBLIC tributes for Michael Jackson on the tenth anniversary of his death today have been told to Beat It, following the devastating child sex abuse documentary.
Broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic have avoided TV specials about the one-time King of Pop, after the release of Leaving Neverland.
Telly bosses have decided to axe TV specials that were supposed to mark the tenth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death[/caption]
Since child sex abuse doc Leaving Neverland aired, ‘no-one wants to be seen to be promoting a potential paedophile’[/caption]
Jackson was a hero to millions when he died from drug overdose on June 25, 2009, but in March this year the film aired interviews with child stars Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
They claimed Jacko molested them over a number of years.
A source told The Sun last night: “Leaving Neverland changed the way that Jackson’s anniversary was looked at and considered.
“Wade and James had previously made allegations in court papers – but once they went on camera to discuss the finite accusations everything changed.
‘SHYING AWAY FROM TROUBLE’
“Michael’s loyal followers and friends shot down the pair, but for the mass audience there remains a huge element of doubt about Jackson.
“The broadcast in March remains fresh in many people’s minds so to have a fresh take on all MJ’s achievements – and ignoring these matters – would be tough.
“There has been a general consensus among UK and US network executives that putting anything on is tricky so they are shying away from trouble.
“No-one wants to be seen to be promoting a potential paedophile.
“Late last year several production companies were looking at shows marking the anniversary examining his achievements. But there is no appetite for that story at this moment.”
Today marks the tenth anniversary of Jackson’s death, at the age of 50, from an accidental overdose of drug propofol.
Television execs would normally be lining up special shows to mark the occasion, but this time planned shows have been shelved.
Projects dumped included one by Big Fish Productions, who had optioned the 2012 book ‘Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson’.
It was to be both a documentary and drama about MJ’s final days, but after the release of Brit director Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland it was axed by a US network.
‘THE PROJECT WAS TOXIC’
Big Fish president Dan Cesareo said: “We felt we had put together a really compelling narrative that would make a lot of sense for the market.
“(But) they suddenly cut bait and ran. The project was essentially toxic. That’s the feeling I got. No one wanted to touch it.
“When Leaving Neverland dropped at Sundance, we could barely get a return phone call.”
Jackson’s estate has also cancelled the Chicago debut of a new musical about his success, titled ‘Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough’.
The show was meant to be in rehearsals, but currently has no home or start date, despite claims it would go to Broadway next year.
Even the Jackson family, including his kids, steer away from commemorating the anniversary of his death – insisting that they prefer to celebrate their late dad’s birthday in August.
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Leaving Neverland’s British producer Dan Reed has said he is glad that Jackson’s music achievements are now balanced with molestation claims.
He claimed: “I don’t want to say to people don’t make a big deal about the anniversary of his death.
“But let’s just confront the fact that as an entertainer he was amazing, but as a man there were facets to his life that were really unacceptable.”
Big Fish Productions ditched one project as it was ‘essentially toxic’ and when Leaving Neverland dropped at Sundance, they ‘could barely get a return phone call’[/caption]
A source says ‘Wade and James had previously made allegations in court papers – but once they went on camera to discuss the finite accusations everything changed’[/caption]
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