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The potential consequences of "Leaving Neverland"


Max Field
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After it's release almost 2 years ago, the 2 part documentary Leaving Neverland (about Michael Jackson's alleged crimes) has been greenlit for a sequel.

Of course the Jackson estate is bombarding them with legal suits, but in all honesty, all I can think about is the crew. Would a DoP or AD worry about a film that could potentially get them blacklisted from a big chunk of the industry? Does the average hiring producer look at things like that for positions other than Director or Writer?

There's been stuff like MadTV which has been mean towards public figures but never attempted to seriously state anything about their parody subjects, I just wonder how it could all go down in the event of the courts ruling these pictures as 100% libel.

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  • 6 months later...

Isn't that summtim. 650+ views, almost 2 years go by and no one has any input. Really sad testament to this forum. Or are they scared of signing their name to a comment? Well, maybe that is it. They all got jobs and houses.

Sounds like an interesting topic. This is the first I heard about it Max. 

Amazon.com: Leaving Neverland: Movies & TV

Looks like an interesting film. I will get it from my library. Didn't research it much, but Amazon's DVD is a DVD-R. Wonder why it was not pressed?

For me, if I was qualified for the work, it probably would not matter. I don't own any real estate. My car is almost 12 years old. My gear is all old. No steady job. They would only 'get practice' suing me.

But not everyone is like me. 

If you got a project like that where no one wants to shoot it, put up want ads at the film or art schools. 

Beside $$, another thing to worry about now is the physical backlash when you don't mesh with the popular culture and prevailing world view. I used to carry around revolvers back in the day. The summer of love 2020 proved that revolvers are not much good in the new world order. Now it is Glocks with hi cap mags and an AR- SBR in the trunk's pass through.

No matter what you do...someone, somewhere is going to be offended. And the freedom of speech thing is out the door in 2021 America. (And I  hope to never have to use the SBR...it will blow your ears out!) 

Now Max, $$ does not drive all things. 

In an intro to his review on Amazon of  Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson, Lleu Christopher distills what fuels the bohemian life.

“Nicholson has a genuine appreciation for the bohemian spirit, and acknowledges the sacrifices made by many obscure artists, poets and others existing (often marginally) at society’s fringes. For some, the idealistic decision to forsake conventional society for a life dedicated to art, romance, poetry or perhaps a vaguer idea such as beauty or authenticity was never rewarded with any kind of material success. Was there any compensation for those living such marginal lives? Nicholson makes the case that for many, a life dedicated to art, romance and freedom is its own reward. For those who embody the bohemian spirit, material comforts and security are not worth the price of suppressing one’s creativity and individuality.”

So artists may have other motives to do a thing, other than money Max.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I got the Jackson DVD from the library. About 4 hours long. Maybe it was 2 hours too long. The last 2 hours was just more crying and complaining about Jackson having sexual contact with the kids. Amazed the stage moms were so mesmerized they would let their kids sleep with Jackson. 

In the future things may be worse for professionals. So, depending on your project, you may have to pick your projects carefully or use a nom de plume / alias or go uncredited. It will be just like the old stag film days with made-up names for credit. 

The dems own MSM, the newspapers, high tech, social media, TV, Hollywood, major league sports, popular culture, big biz, governors and many mayors. They own the schools, higher education. Plus they own half of America's vote. So, see how your project meshes with them before you ruin your carrer.  The reps have no power. They can't cancel anyone really. So you don't have to worry about them most likely. The reps used to have the power, but that was many decades ago. Nowadays you just have to worry about who controls the 1A...they have the power.

I had heard on NPR that a white gal was on a TV show and some black gal cancelled her cause the girl attended a antebellum party at her college. She apologized profusely, but was still cancelled. 

Then some guy associetd with the show (or with pull) stepped up and asked for the girl's redemption because she was stupid and young. Then he got canceled for asking for redemption for the girl. (Now, I don't know if I got this all 100% as I came in after the story was running. But this generally is what I gathered.)

I thought to myself, Jeeesus, what is wrong with going to an antebellum party? Why should you apologize? It is not like goining to a slave trading auction or lynching. But, I'm old and don't understand how things work nowadays. 

In any case, that is our world in 2021. I have a comix for you guys and gals that illustrates perfectly the state of affairs in the USA in 2021, but it is a little too strong, so I will have to pass on posting it as I don't want to get in trouble.

Antebellum.jpg?w=300&ssl=1

Also on that NPR show was a tribute to the late Ned Beatty with Terry Gross. They were discussing Deliverance, specifically the scene where Ned gets butt raped by the hillbilly. Terry said the crew / cameraman was disgusted by the scene. Terry said they were homophobes. 

So...moral of the story...don't go to antebellum parties or wear hoop skirts. And keep a GD smile on your face when you are on the set.

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/18/1007612868/remembering-character-actor-ned-beatty

Text from audio:

TERRY GROSS: Your first film role was in the movie "Deliverance." Did you have any reservations about making your screen debut in a role where the character is raped by a man?

BEATTY: No. As far as I can recall, it never occurred to me. As a matter of fact, I was sort of, in a way, shocked by how people reacted to that. I was shocked, as a matter of fact, even when we filmed it, how difficult it was for the crew. There were people who didn't want to do the scene. At that point, my feeling about my work, my craft, my art, if you will, was the fact that I simply serve the story. So it wasn't in my lexicon of thinking about acting whether or not I was going to be identified with this character and what happened to him.

GROSS: You mentioned how surprised you were at the cameraman's horrified reaction to the rape scene in "Deliverance." And do you think it's a combination of two things - one, the humiliation of rape, but, two, a certain amount of homophobia?

BEATTY: I really think it had to do with how well we did the scene.  

GROSS: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • Sustaining Member

I guess it's just not something I know anything about.

I'm wracking my brain, but I don't think I've never been asked to do anything that I wasn't comfortable doing. I did once turn up to a short film shoot to discover that it involved full frontal nudity, but since everyone involved seemed completely happy I went ahead and shot it.

In the end, anyone can claim to have been offended by anything.

P

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I just released a video game which needed a content disclaimer and a bunch of revisions to get published to Steam... and it really seems who gets cancelled for what comes down to how much people liked you before your hot button incident got outed. Likening it more to comedians who get cancelled for jokes as opposed to outright assaulting someone.

Kwame Brown has recently blown up Youtube, preaching a concept of the "go along get along gang". He'll bring up all sorts of things (literal rape charges for one) from the pasts of prominent figures well ingratiated with this current iteration of liberal media and wonders why they haven't been cancelled too.

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On 11/20/2020 at 3:09 PM, Max Field said:

Of course the Jackson estate is bombarding them with legal suits, but in all honesty, all I can think about is the crew. Would a DoP or AD worry about a film that could potentially get them blacklisted from a big chunk of the industry?

I don't quite understand the thread premise here, you're saying the crew who work on a Finding Neverland sequel might end up blacklisted?

By who exactly?

Are you saying that because a films producer or studio gets sued the crew might get blacklisted for being accessories in some way? Or do you think a big chunk of the industry is sympathetic to Jackson and out to cancel people involved in smearing his name?

Is there any precedent of this happening? Seems pretty far-fetched.

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I have noticed the opposite problem - of production companies being aware of their reputation. The two most prominent examples that spring to mind involved Asylum making movies in the UK under an assumed production company name because they knew people might be unwilling to work for them; in the end it was fine and nobody had any complaints other than that it was clearly not a huge budget thing, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that.

That said I have learned not to leap to the conclusion that the sort of political stuff Max is talking about is necessarily far-fetched. It's still rare, but identifiably becoming more common, for that sort of politics to rear its extremely ugly head. I'm not sure if Michael Jackson, with an already chequered history, would necessarily attract the sympathy of critical-justice extremists, but there's certainly a push in the direction of more or less any such accusation against more or less anyone being taken much more seriously than it deserves. Improbable, yes, but I wouldn't say far-fetched.

I've learned not to call this stuff far-fetched. It probably should be, but it increasingly isn't.

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19 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I guess it's just not something I know anything about.

I'm wracking my brain, but I don't think I've never been asked to do anything that I wasn't comfortable doing. I did once turn up to a short film shoot to discover that it involved full frontal nudity, but since everyone involved seemed completely happy I went ahead and shot it.

In the end, anyone can claim to have been offended by anything.

P

Well, I always said...if it is legal do as you like. But in 2021 that does not always fly any longer.

The only project I didn't like doing and quit, was acid attack victims. Too depressing and sad. Plus all the material I was working with was low res. I've mentioned this before to the group, one of the few working prejudices I have is with low res material . So I figured why depress myself for low res garbage and gave up on that project. 

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8 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

I don't quite understand the thread premise here, you're saying the crew who work on a Finding Neverland sequel might end up blacklisted?

By who exactly?

Are you saying that because a films producer or studio gets sued the crew might get blacklisted for being accessories in some way? Or do you think a big chunk of the industry is sympathetic to Jackson and out to cancel people involved in smearing his name?

Is there any precedent of this happening? Seems pretty far-fetched.

 

Not too far fetched. That was how it was in the McCarthy era. 

 

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8 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

Are you saying that because a films producer or studio gets sued the crew might get blacklisted for being accessories in some way?

Yes, let's say if a studio or production team is very pro-MJ, and your name pops up as the first thing next to Leaving Neverland, then there is a good chance they don't call you back. Specifically with the music industry (music videos lets say in this case) people are extremely petty and territorial. Know from experience and talking with others far more into it than I.

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On 6/22/2021 at 8:17 AM, Max Field said:

Yes, let's say if a studio or production team is very pro-MJ, and your name pops up as the first thing next to Leaving Neverland, then there is a good chance they don't call you back. Specifically with the music industry (music videos lets say in this case) people are extremely petty and territorial. Know from experience and talking with others far more into it than I.

Yes, agree. Personal prejudice is a big deal nowadays. And it is not just in the music video area. In the old days there was not as many people to take a job. Now they have lots of replacements and will can your ass in a second. 

I guess the internet messed things up. Someone sees you doing something questionable, then snap a cell phone shot, put it online and boom! Now flash mobs can form in no time and set out to destroy anyone that does not mesh with the prevailing world view held by those in power. That was not easy to do back in the day. Plus the police would crack heads if the mob acted up. Depending on the city, the mob has full control. Cops are ordered to stand down. This is not Mayberry anymore. 

Since you are so paranoid, protect your name if you have concerns. Bee choosy or use an alias for questionable work. Trouble is you never know when something is acceptable now and cancelable later. No magic bullet. You can make yourself crazy over this stuff. 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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  • 1 month later...

Apparently not much blowback in the end. Just got an email from PBS. They are showing a film directed by Dan Reed.

Up Next: In the Shadow of 9/11

As the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, approaches, FRONTLINE presents In the Shadow of 9/11 — the latest documentary from Dan Reed, the acclaimed director of Leaving Neverland. The film chronicles a pivotal but often forgotten landmark case from the post-9/11 “War on Terror,” for the first time in-depth on television. Tune in or stream Tuesday, August 10.

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