Michael Jackson executors want TV "autopsy" canceled

Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:44pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Executors of Michael Jackson's estate on Wednesday asked a TV network to cancel a program reenacting the singer's autopsy, calling it "in shockingly bad taste".

"Your decision to even schedule this program is in shockingly bad taste, insensitive to Michael family and appears to be motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael's death," co-executors John Branca and John McClain wrote in a letter to Discovery Communications.

"On behalf of Michael's family, fans, common sense and decency, we urge you to reconsider and cancel this program," they added.

The show, "Michael Jackson's Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson," is set to air in Europe in January.

A print advertisement for the program shows a body covered by a sheet, with one hand poking out wearing the "Thriller" singer's trademark sequined glove.

"Discovery obviously views this as clever advertising and creative 'branding' for its program. But in fact, the ad is debased, sick and insensitive," Branca and McClain wrote.

A spokesman for Discovery Communications declined to comment on the letter. It follows an online petition organized by Jackson fans around the world.

Jackson died in June 2009 at the age of 50 of an overdose of prescription drugs and the powerful anesthetic propofol. His physician at the time, Dr. Conrad Murray, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter after admitting giving propofol to Jackson as a sleep aid.

A preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a formal trial is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on Jan 4.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)