HBO Denies Reports That 'Leaving Neverland' Was Pulled From Its Programming

The network said the explosive Michael Jackson documentary "will continue to be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO."

Michael Jackson

Image via Getty/Kimberly White/Corbis

Michael Jackson

Contrary to several reports, Leaving Neverland has not been pulled from HBO programming.

Earlier this week, rumors began circulating that the premium cable network removed the two-part documentary series that detailed the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. A number of outlets reported Leaving Neverland was initially scheduled to air throughout the spring and summer months; however, many pointed out that HBO's official website had only one TV listing for the documentary, leading many to falsely believe HBO had pulled the plug. 

"That report is untrue. Leaving Neverland is available on HBO through April 16th and then will continue to be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO," HBO told Complex. "It is now the second most watched [documentary] on HBO in 10 years having reached 7.5 million people for Part 1."

About a month after Leaving Neverland premiered on HBO, Jackson biographer Mike Smallcombe reported a discrepancy in the film. Smallcombe pointed to the account of James Safechuck, who claims he was molested by Jackson between 1988 and 1992. Safechuck said one of the alleged incidents took place in a room above Neverland's train station—a claim Smallcombe has deemed impossible. The biographer has provided photographic evidence that proves construction of the train station didn't begin until 1993 and did not open until 1994. 

In the last couple of hours I’ve been given access to the Santa Barbara County construction permits for the Neverland train station by my source - approved Sept 2, 1993

— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 30, 2019

"Suddenly the end of Safechuck’s abuse was when he was 16/17 rather than 14," Smallcombe wrote in a subsequent tweet. "It’s a three year discrepancy. Just hold your hands up, don’t change the story. This is what happens when you don’t investigate properly."

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