HBO Says Report About 'Leaving Neverland' Being Removed From Programming Is Untrue [Exclusive]
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Oprah Winfrey’s TV network OWN has offered a statement on the claim that Winfrey’s YouTube channel removed interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck amid a discrepancy made in the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Wendy Luckenbill, Senior Vice President of Communications at OWN, said that the full episode of Winfrey’s interview with Robson and Safechuck “was available on VOD/WatchOWN app through the usual post-air cycle” and it expired on April 8. The promo clips that were on Winfrey’s YouTube were on rotation when the episode was still available.
She also noted that social posts for the episode have not been removed, which is true.
#AfterNeverland, an @Oprah Exclusive. After watching the 2-part @HBODocs #LeavingNeverland on @HBO – tune in to see Oprah's conversation with Wade Robson, James Safechuck, and doc director David Reed. Monday at 10p. pic.twitter.com/92E8yiRM73
— Oprah Winfrey Network (@OWNTV) March 1, 2019
Read the original story below.
A representative has confirmed that the documentary will continue to be avbailable on the television network.
A report claiming that HBO is pulling the plug on Leaving Neverland amid a discrepancy made in the documentary has turned out to be false.
In late March, Mike Smallcombe, a British journalist and the author of Making Michael, spoke with the Mirror about how he uncovered testimony by Wade Robson’s mom that contradicted his allegations detailed in Leaving Neverland. Smallcombe also claimed that a part of James Safechuck’s allegation is inconsistent with details about the construction of Jackson’s Neverland train station.
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 pic.twitter.com/xjtfvEvsUu
— Mike Smallcombe (@mikesmallcombe1) March 30, 2019
Safechuck claimed that he was abused in an upstairs room in Neverland’s train station at some point between 1988 and 1992, but Smallcombe had uncovered permits that showed the train station was approved for construction on September 2, 1993.
With the discrepancies has come a report from radio station 93.9 WKYS saying that HBO has removed the Leaving Neverland documentary from its programming.
But Quentin Schaffer, HBO’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications, said that the report is untrue, and that the network will continue to show the documentary through April 17. It will also remain available to watch on HBO Now and HBO Go.
WKYS also claimed in the same report that all of Oprah Winfrey’s interviews with Robson and Safechuck have been removed from her OWN account because of the discrepancies. Although the interviews have been removed, it’s unknown why. Okayplayer has reached out to a representative at OWN for comment.