World News – UK – ‘Leaving Neverland’ director Dan Reed fights subpoenas as he shoots HBO’s Channel 4 / Michael Jackson sequel


EXCLUSIVE: Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed is embroiled in a legal feud with the companies inherited from Michael Jackson as he attempts to shoot a sequel to his explosive Channel 4 / HBO documentary, Emmy winner

The deadline may reveal that Reed filmed in Los Angeles Superior Court as Wade Robson and James Safechuck, the two men at the center of Leaving Neverland, pursue separate actions against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures after allegedly having been sexually assaulted by the king of pop when they were minors

Reed’s footage will be used in a follow-up film for Channel 4, in which he captures the legal wars waged by Robson and Safechuck after their moving Leaving Neverland interviews lit a fire amid fears that Jackson was a predator In producing the second documentary, however, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures sought to entangle Reed in the legal process.

Jackson’s companies have served Reed and his production team, Amos Pictures, with subpoenas asking him to appear personally for filing and hand over documents and materials related to Leaving Neverland and the sequel The subpoenas , served on September 21, were followed by Jackson’s attorneys who filed a brief in which they attempt to discredit Reed, persuade the court that he is not a legitimate journalist and describe Leaving Neverland as one-sided They are also trying to ban him from filming in the courtroom

Reed hit back with a motion to quash subpoenas in Los Angeles court last week.In the 79-page petition it makes it clear that he resides in the UK and that Amos does not operate in California, which could make it difficult for a judge to force Reed to hand over production materials He also points out that he has no personal affiliation with Robson and Safechuck and that he did not pay the plaintiffs to appear in his suite – a claim brought to court by the Jackson Companies

In response to the brief’s “various false accusations” regarding his credibility, Reed presented his case as an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning filmmaker who wishes to use the follow-up documentary Leaving Neverland to chronicle the legal proceedings of the two sides « The follow-up documentary I’m filming for in these cases is about current events taking place in part in public view and will be a story that unfolds with multiple points of view, » he said. declared

Reed attached emails showing he had asked MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures attorney Howard Weitzman to appear in the second documentary Following a constructive meeting with Reed in June, Weitzman turned down ‘J’ decided that neither I nor anyone in my office would participate in the documentary we have all discussed for several reasons. Among them is the fact that you have already clearly stated publicly that you unhesitatingly believe the stories of the two accusers, ”he said. Weitzman said in an email last month John Branca, CEO of the Jackson Companies and co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, also declined to participate in the documentary

Reed’s motion to cancel was supported by a statement from Channel 4 news and current affairs manager Louisa Compton In a strong defense from the director, she said Jackson’s companies were trying to ‘remove’ reports on the Robson and Safechuck cases

Compton said: « Understandably, the MJJ companies aren’t happy with ‘Leaving Neverland’ or the making of the follow-up documentary It’s easy to see why they don’t want the subject matter of these films reported to the audience However, even if they do not like the messages conveyed by these documentaries, we strongly oppose their efforts to « shoot the messenger »

« In particular, at Channel 4, we oppose their attempt to use subpoenas to try to force Reed and his company to turn over all their unpublished material and drag this reporter into depositions In the UK, as in the US, courts are very reluctant to order journalists to turn over undisclosed and other journalistic material, given the strong legal protections that exist to protect freedom of expression. The motivations of the DOJ companies are further revealed by their attempt to ban Reed from filming in the courtroom and thus prohibit him from obtaining footage to report on the proceedings. We oppose these efforts to crack down on journalism by preventing Reed from further educating the public on these issues of vital public importance. »

In a statement to Deadline, she added: « At Channel 4, we have a strong reputation for defending free speech. We regularly oppose those who ask journalists to order journalists to hand over material unreleased and other journalistic material, acknowledging the strong legal protections that exist to protect journalists in the UK and US »

A hearing on Reed’s motion to quash subpoenas is scheduled for April 9 next year LA County Superior Court judge Mark A Young dismissed Safechuck’s trial on Tuesday Safechuck is ready to appeal Robson’s case goes to trial on June 14, 2021

Deadline understands that HBO is not yet committed to the second film Leaving Neverland This is due to its own ongoing legal dispute with Jackson’s Estate, which claims the original documentary was a violation of a disclaimer. bashing in 1992 contract for HBO special concert on Jackson’s Dangerous tour Amos Pictures hopes to secure US co-production partner

Leaving Neverland won an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Special Non-Fiction, and a BAFTA TV Award for the Factual Series

Michael Jackson, Dan Reed, James Safechuck, Wade Robson, Channel 4

World News – UK – « Leaving Neverland » director Dan Reed fights subpoenas as it shoots the Channel 4 sequel / HBO’s Michael Jackson movie



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