Between May 2002 and January 2003 Michael Jackson granted unprecedented access to British journalist Martin Bashir to interview him extensively over a span of eight months, allowing Bashir to stay with him at his Neverland Ranch home and follow him as he went about his day to day business. The resulting documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, was broadcast in February 2003 in both the UK and US and was highly damaging to Jackson’s reputation. Particularly damaging was his admission that he permitted some of the disadvantaged children that he invited to Neverland to share a bed with him.
Jackson felt betrayed by Bashir and complained that the final edit of the film gave a distorted picture of his behaviour and conduct as a father and claimed that Bashir only used footage which would portray him in a negative light. Bashir was also criticized by sections of the media for his approach to the film, with the New York Times referring to his journalistic style as “callous self-interest masked as sympathy.”
Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Footage You Were Never Meant To See is a rebuttal documentary produced by Jackson himself and broadcast by Fox as a network special, it is made up of interview footage which Bashir had omitted from his documentary and features interviews with people close to Jackson including his former wife and mother of his children Debbie Rowe, his parents, two of his siblings, and his friend Elizabeth Taylor. Rowe claimed in her interview that it was at her request that their children wore masks in public. The footage of the interviews was captured by Jackson’s videographer Hamid Moslehi.