It’s been almost a decade since we lost Michael Jackson.
And, yet, the eccentric King of Pop is still making controversial headlines. Tonight (May 24), ABC is slated to air a two-hour documentary, titled The Last Days of Michael Jackson, which is said to cover new information about Jackson and his tragic decline.
With all of the hype surrounding the special, the hitmaker’s estate has since condemned the documentary as a “crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit” Jackson’s life. Allegedly, the network was using copyrighted material in promotional content belonging to Jackson’s beneficiaries.
To be clear, in no way did the estate sponsor or approve of this television special. Representatives for the Michael Jackson estate noted in a statement:
“We want consumers to know that The Last Days of Michael Jackson, a television special airing on ABC TV (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) tomorrow May 24, is not sponsored or approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson. It is particularly disheartening that Disney, a company known to strongly believe in protecting its own IP rights, would choose to ignore these rights belonging to the Estate.”
MJ’s estate is NOT messing around. The reps continued:
“ABC was using a copyrighted photo and silhouette image owned by the Estate in the trailers and promotional material for the special. Only after notice from our attorneys to ABC News indicating they were infringing on our IP rights were the materials removed. We are told ABC intends to use music and other intellectual property owned by the Estate such as photos, logos, artwork, and more in the program itself, without having licensed the rights to any such material. Imagine if this was done with any of ABC’s intellectual property. We believe the special to be another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image of Michael Jackson without respect for Michael’s legacy, intellectual property rights or his children.”
The network relayed:
“ABC News’ documentary explores the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide.”
They also ensured that the “program does not infringe on his estate’s rights, but as a courtesy, we removed a specific image from the promotional material.” For a taste of what’s to come, be sure to take a look at the sneak peek (below).
A new special on Michael Jackson airs TONIGHT on ABC as we get a never-before-seen look at a sit-down interview he had with Diane Sawyer! pic.twitter.com/AQwVsZxuF6
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 24, 2018
Hmmm, very inneresting. We’re certainly eager to see what’s covered in this new special! Will YOU be watching??
[Image via WENN.]