Jackson fans claimed that the documentary was edited to remove parts of the allegations because the timeline has been proven false somehow. This wasn’t the case.
Essentially the UK version needed to make room for adverts. With adverts every 15 minutes for 2 hours i.e. 7 adverts around 4-5 mins each, they had to reduce each part of the documentary by 30 minutes. The documentary is already very long and people probably wouldn’t want to watch for nearly 5 hours.
#leavingneverland @Channel4 is an ad-funded PSB, so we had to cut down the #HBO version. The versions were created before broadcast on HBO, cuts were for duration only. No edits were made afterwards or as a consequence of reactions to the HBO broadcast.
— Dan Reed (@danreed1000) March 12, 2019
[Edit: While Channel 4 in the UK only has the short version available to stream, both the original and shorter versions are available to stream in Australia on TenPlay, so it clearly wasn’t shortened to hide ‘false’ info]
Reddit user orangesky3 went through all the footage and compared the HBO and UK versions, then made a list below of all the differences they could find.
TDLR summary of the list: only things they could afford to were removed in order to reduce the time but also tell the story. Things removed include descriptions not necessary for the main story (i.e. how magical Neverland was), repetition, stuff about Wade’s father, all the sections with Wade’s grandmother etc. The majority of removed footage in part 2 is TV news footage and Wade’s family. orangesky3 honestly didn’t know what else they could have removed instead to reduce the time by 55 minutes.
All the timestamps are approximate and refer to the HBO timings.
Part 1 (about 30 mins shorter)
· Introduction to James’s mother reduced. Whole bit about meeting his father and the vasectomy etc was removed.
· After Wade’s first concert, section where he goes into MJ’s room for 2 hours while he was editing Moonwalker footage is removed (bearing in mind this comes right when the first advert break happens, and unlike some have suggested, the doc clearly says this is when the Moonwalker was edited not released and there were no claims of molestation in this instance regardless)
· 25:14: James saying MJ was becoming more like a person, how he gave him attention
· 25:30: James’s family driving MJ + being followed by paparazzi
· 28:30: James’s mother on choosing whether he should do commercials, MJ praying for a friend
· 30:10: James’s mother saying she kept her distance during the day on the trip
· 37:20: Few secs cut of James’s mother talking about life being crazy on tour
· 47:57: James’s mother talking about being served food + wine at Neverland
· 50:51: James’s mother talking about the cinema room door being locked, some of James describing locations of abuse (again before an ad break)
· 53:50: James saying that MJ’s popularity helped him believe he was good
· 57:05: Whole section with Wade’s grandmother removed
· 59:05: Few seconds removed of Wade’s sister meeting MJ for the first time
· 59:20: Few secs removed of Wade saying they were having a photoshoot
· 1:01:07: Whole section with Wade’s grandmother removed.
· 1:01:43: Wade’s family saying how magical Neverland was.
· 1:02:20: Wade’s mother describing cinema and candy store at Neverland
· 1:03:25: Few secs cut of Wade saying the main house was across from guest rooms
· 1:05:18: Few seconds cut of Wade’s sister just repeating what Wade said about MJ inviting them to stay in his room. Again the section with Wade’s grandmother removed.
· 1:05:40: Wade saying he, his sister + MJ had pillowfights
· 1:07:20: Wade saying there were loads of toys, MJ liked watching him have fun
· 1:07:50: Wade describing fairground and animals
· 1:11:00: Wade’s grandmother again. Wade’s mother couldn’t get in contact.
· 1:18:56: Wade talking about MJ calling him son
· 1:21:56: Wade saying he doesn’t remember anyone making a comment about him staying in MJ’s room. His mother saying she spent a lot of time with his sister going shopping.
· 1:24:10: James’s mother continuing to say how amazing it was that MJ loved spending time with the family because he was a big star
· 1:28:58: Wade’s sister saying she’d sometimes say hello to MJ on the phone but he only wanted to talk to Wade. His mother saying they’d be on the phone for several hours
· 1:29:50: Wade saying he found it hard to concentrate at school because of MJ, said they’d call each other Apple Head.
· 1:30:45: Whole section about fax messages, Wade’s grandmother talking. Wade describing clothes MJ gave him.
· 1:35:15: When Wade says how relationship became intertwined with what sexual relationship was, the words ‘and what our love was’ is cut off
· 1:35:35: Wade’s mother talking about happy memories at Neverland, how she could tell MJ + Wade were avoiding her
· 1:39:30: Wade’s mother saying she fought with MJ over Wade staying with him for a couple of hours
· 1:40:10: Wade’s brother confusion when he was told they’d stay with MJ a bit longer
· 1:42:20: Wade’s grandmother, Wade discussing his father’s bipolar disorder
· 1:43:40: Wade talking about father’s mental health again
· 1:44:40: Some of Wade’s brother talking about family situation
· 1:45:15: Wade’s grandmother
· 1:46:35: Wade’s brother talking leaving dad, Wade’s grandmother again
· 1:50:00: Wade’s mother talking about when they arrive in LA, doing music video
· 1:51:20: A few seconds of Wade saying Macaulay was where he was
· 1:52:10: Wade’s mother saying it was obvious Macaulay took place as MJ’s best friend
· 1:55:10: James’s mother saying they went up for the weekend and MJ showed up with another family
· 1:58:20: Newsclip footage
· 1:59:15: Wade talking being upset that Brett was Australian
Part Two (25 minutes shorter)
· 01:10: News footage of Wade dancing on TV
· 02:55: Sentence removed “Michael and Jordy would disappear a lot”. Only this sentence is removed, Wade still says that they went into the bathroom and he knew what they were doing.
· 3:58: small part of news clip where presenter says MJ hasn’t been seen since the allegations
· 6:50: All of footage of Gloria Allred (Jordan Chandler’s lawyer) talking to the media. Asking why MJ would sleep with boys, reminding us that child victims will look to Jordan’s trial to see how they’d be treated if they came forward.
· 9:28: Wade saying he wouldn’t hear from MJ for months at a time, then when the trial happened it was every day. Call from MJ is gone, as is Wade saying the calls were to coach him.
· 11:00: Today Show clip where MJ’s lawyers are asked about MJ inviting kids to live with him, sleeping with boys.
· 11:40: James saying MJ used the ‘they want fame and money’ card, his parents believed MJ
· 14:50: News clip showing deposition document, chauffeur saying he’d drop boys off for overnight visits, staff member saying they saw things happen
· 16:10: Small part of Wade’s TV interview defending MJ where he says MJ is a kind person and wouldn’t hurt anyone. After this it does show the second clip of Wade’s TV interview, it isn’t completely removed.
· 21:10: The UK version does have James saying MJ convinced his parents to get him out of school but removes some of the extra detail. Also removed is MJ telling him he’d be a little Spielberg, James describing the films he’d made.
· 29:45: Quick clip of Wade in a car park(?) removed, as is a drone shot and news clip of MJ’s honeymoon
· 30:30: Wade saying he had a building desire to connect with his dad more, his phone calls with his dad in Australia. (The stuff about his dad’s mental health is kept in though)
· 31:00: Wade’s brother talking about staying in Australia and his dad.
· 36:55: Few seconds at the end of the clip where Wade rehearses with NSync
· 37:25: News report cuts off before newscaster says ‘NSync’ after Britney. News report about Wade working with Britney removed. But it includes the part where Wade talks about MJ’s obsession with Britney.
· 40:20: Few seconds cut from James’s wife describing his band.
· 41:24: James’s wife talking about moving in together, watching Harry Potter
· 44:25: James talking about using substances to cope.
· 46:45: Personal footage of Wade and his wife with Wade describing his wife.
· 54:05: It includes footage of MJ giving a statement to the media after the court case, but cuts off the end part where he thanks people and talks about his community.
· 54:35: Wade telling MJ he doesn’t want to testify + MJ’s reaction.
· 1:02:40: MJ walking into court and section where Wade, his mother + sister describe dinner at Neverland the night before.
· 1:06:10: Part of news clip cut that reports a question Wade answered in court (along the lines of ‘Did MJ ever molest you?’ ‘No’)
· 1:08:40: When Wade is saying he wishes he told the truth in court, it cuts a little bit where he says it could have stopped MJ + saved other children
· 1:09:05: One sentence where Wade says that he didn’t understand that it was abuse. It doesn’t completely remove him saying this, it includes what he then says about not feeling harmed by it and not understanding it was bad.
· 1:09:55: Drone shot, TV news clip about MJ doing a Las Vegas comeback. Wade choreographing in Las Vegas. MJ telling him to bring wine. MJ + Wade having dinner, MJ drinking heavily.
· 1:14:37: Wade saying the first thing he saw on the news when MJ died was the ambulance leaving and how the news said he had cardiac arrest.
· 1:15:20: Hollywood TV clip of fans in the streets after MJ dies. Wade’s sister learning about death on the news.
· 1:15:50: Wade’s sister’s shock when MJ died because he was such a big part of her life.
· 1:17:20: Wade’s sister grieving.
· 1:17:55: Wade didn’t know how to feel when MJ died, didn’t want to talk about it to anyone. Wade being told he had to make a statement.
· 1:19:20: News clip of MJ’s dad saying he helped people.
· 1:23:05: It includes Wade saying he stopped enjoying work, but removes a little bit where he says it wasn’t fun anymore and becoming more famous brought more pressure.
· 1:23:30: Wade’s sister talking about his depression (but rest of section about his depression is still there)
· 1:25:50: First sentence of Wade’s wife on the demands of directing a film .
· 1:26:45: Wade saying he was barely talking to his family.
· 1:27:30: James’s mother saying she could see he was having a rough time, suggesting he sees a psychiatrist, he wouldn’t talk about it.
· 1:28:30: Part where James’s wife talks about his breakdown is reduced slightly
· 1:30:15: Wade’s wife saying that he felt terrified all the time, she was trying to keep it together.
· 1:40:45: Wade’s grandmother talking.
· 1:46:25: Wade’s grandmother talking.