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Netflix's The Man With 1,000 Kids Is Deceiving You, Says Jonathan Jacob Meijer

"The Man with 1,000 Kids" is easily one of Netflix's most controversial offerings at the time of this writing. The three-part docuseries focuses on Dutch musician and YouTuber Jonathan Jacob Meijer, a so-called "serial sperm donor" who claims to have fathered more than half the number of children in the program's title. While Meijer declined to participate in the series, he has broken his silence on the matter, and he firmly believes Netflix is misleading viewers through the documentary's narrative.

"They deliberately called [the documentary] 'The Man with 1,000 Kids,' when it should be 'the sperm donor who helped families conceive with 550 children'," Meijer told BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour." "So already from the start they are deliberately deceiving and misleading." He also said that he doesn't see anything wrong with his status as a serial donor and stressed that his personal estimate of fathering 550 kids isn't out of the ordinary in his field. "For a sperm donor it's quite common," Meijer explained. "They go up into the hundreds of children. They [the clinics] will ship the donor semen to multiple countries."

Regarding the women interviewed on "The Man with 1,000 Kids" and the accusations they levied against him, Meijer said they represent a tiny minority compared to those who are grateful. "I think Netflix did a great job at selecting five families [who are unhappy] out of the 225 families that I've helped, and they [the other families] will definitely tell you something else," he stated.

The Man with 1,000 Kids' producer stands by the documentary

Much like the very similar Netflix documentary "Our Father" ensures its accuracy by interviewing the victims of Indianapolis-based fertility doctor Donald Cline, "The Man with 1,000 Kids" did the same by speaking to women who claim to have been negatively affected by Jonathan Jacob Meijer. Some interview subjects accused Meijer of lying about the number of families he donated to, while others took issue with his self-centered personality and bizarre behaviors. Likewise, many viewers felt angry and disgusted with Meijer after learning of his actions, as well as those of other self-styled sperm donors who claim to have dozens or even hundreds of kids.

With that in mind, the series' executive producer, Natalie Hill, is unimpressed by Meijer's rebuttal. "I've spent the last four years speaking to families who have been impacted by Jonathan's lies. I've personally spoken to 45 or 50 families," she said in the same "Woman's Hour" episode. "Fifty families made impact statements to the court about his lies, and pleaded with the judge that he stop. So this continued platform for Jonathan to talk about it being a handful of women is completely untrue."

If you're looking for something similar to, or even edgier than "The Man with 1,000 Kids," check out these true-crime documentaries that are streaming in 2024.