Viewers who enjoyed ABC’s hour long “Bad 25” special on Thanksgiving night will be happy to know that Spike Lee’s full Michael Jackson documentary contains more than an hour of extra footage not aired on television. Lee was forced to cut down “Bad 25” to just over an hour to fit into ABC’s 90-minute-block, but the DVD version lasts a full 123 minutes. Among the footage cut from ABC’s version are interviews with Stevie Wonder and Justin Bieber, as well as a dance shared by a young Sheryl Crow and Jackson during the 1987 Bad tour.
Clips of Michael himself were omitted as well, though the film maintains the stars constant involvement in the creation of his music and short films. The ABC time slot forced certain topics to be skipped entirely, such as Jackson’s acquisition of the Beatles catalog, and the filming of the star studded “Liberian Girl” video. Even if the fans were able to catch the full version of the film, Lee is still able to convey a positive image of the legendary artist.
“If You Get 1 Thing From Bad 25, You To Bust Ya Ass To Make It Happen.No Shuckin’ No Jivin.No Matter What You Wish To Pursue.Work N’ Mo’ Work,” Lee tweeted after “Bad 25” aired on ABC.
According to Lee’s Twitter, the full version will be available for fans in February 2013. European audiences will be treated to the complete documentary on December 1 via BBC2. Despite the film’s strong reviews, it struggled to steal viewers away from other Thanksgiving programming, bringing in just 4.2 million for ABC compared to the NFL’s 15.9 million on NBC. Those who stayed loyal to the King of Pop were no doubt done a disservice with the edited version of the documentary. Still, years after his death the film served as a way for fans to thank Jackson for his music.
“For too long, people focused on that other stuff,” Lee told USA Today. “When you do that with an artist, you do it to the detriment of the art. I think people are beginning to refocus on Michael Jackson’s music now.”