A protracted-time fan and Jackson biography creator, Mr Dwyer considered this system reluctantly, describing it “tough to look at”.
“I didn’t see many info,” he mentioned. “It’s principally simply two individuals’s tales – it wasn’t actually backed up with any proof of something. It appeared fully one-sided.”
The documentary options stunning testimony from Robson and James Safechuck and their households who accuse Jackson of repeated grooming and sexual abuse. Jackson’s household denies the 2 males’s claims and is suing HBO for $US100 million.
Mr Dwyer cites FBI investigations and the prolonged courtroom case that cleared Jackson’s identify as proof of his innocence, however leaves the door ajar.
“If there was proof to say he was responsible – I’m not closed off to that possibility – I’d be fairly upset. I couldn’t be a fan of somebody who was discovered responsible of such a factor. However from the analysis I’ve carried out, I imagine that he’s harmless.”
Mr Dwyer mentioned Jackson’s military of supporters are roughly divided into two camps: “Half simply wish to boycott the documentary and any networks who assist it. The opposite half wish to analysis and reality test it.”
Leonie Donohue, one other Jackson fan, falls into the primary class. The 39-year-old has 5 Jackson tattoos and staunchly defends her idol’s legacy. She believes the accusers have ulterior motives.
“It’s an enormous cash seize. It’s all the time been about cash for these individuals,” she mentioned.
“Michael Jackson received me by way of my actually darkest hours as a toddler. He continues to get me by way of my darkest hours as an grownup. I’m not excited by something that anybody has to say that’s unhealthy about him,” she mentioned.
Melbourne solicitor Rochelle Watson has a extra nuanced view: “Hate the person love the music.”
Ms Watson mentioned she is going to stay a fan of Jackson’s music, however chooses to imagine the victims’ testimony.
“You’ll be able to respect his music however abhor what he’s carried out in his private life,” she mentioned. “The true life persona and the physique of labor is separate in my thoughts.
“I perceive victims of assault don’t essentially come ahead on the time as a result of they really feel they received’t be believed, particularly if there’s an influence differential between the perpetrator and the sufferer.”
Whereas Jackson is unable to defend this newest hit to his legacy and fame, there’s no scarcity of individuals going into battle for him.
To these sitting on the fence after watching the documentary, Mr Dwyer has a easy message: “I might simply say fact-check, do your homework and analysis, then have an informed opinion.”
Josh Dye is a information reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.