Michael Jackson fans say film covers up grim truth

Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:53pm EDT
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A small group of Michael Jackson's dedicated fans have started an "awareness" campaign surrounding the upcoming movie "This is It," saying it covers up the grim reality of the dead pop star's final days.

The group represents fans from at least 10 countries who claim the movie, which hits theaters around the world on October 28 and is based on Jackson's rehearsals for a series of London concerts, conceals the "dire state" of his health while enriching its promoters that they hold partly responsible for his death on June 25.

"In the weeks leading up to Michael Jackson's death, while this footage was being shot, people around him knew that he looked like he might have died. Those who stood to make a profit chose to ignore it," the group says on its website, www.this-is-not-it.com.

Jackson was preparing for the concerts at the time of his sudden death, which was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County Coroner and attributed to an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as well as the sedative lorazepam.

Police have focused their investigation into his death on the entertainer's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. So far, no charges have been filed.

Kenny Ortega, the director of "This is It" who also was choreographing the concert rehearsals, told Reuters earlier this week that he saw no signs of drug dependency in Jackson, that the singer was excited to be performing and that the film was not intended to make a profit.

In a separate interview on Thursday, Ortega called the movie a "musical mosaic...that I think will help the fans come to appreciate and understand what Michael was putting into "This Is It", what his dreams were for it, what his goals were for it."

"It is a story of a master of his craft, a great genius in his final theatrical work and creative process," Ortega said.   Continued...

<p>A woman signs a tribute wall for Michael Jackson at the L.A. Live complex near where people are lining up overnight for the opportunity to purchase tickets for a special showing of the "Michael Jackson's This Is It" movie in Los Angeles, California, September 25, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>