The King of Pop’s estate has royally slammed ABC for a forthcoming documentary on the superstar, labelling the venture a ‘crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image of Michael Jackson without respect for Michael’s legacy.’
As we reported here, the 2-hour TV special – ‘The Last Days of Michael Jackson’ – will not only look at the rise and fall of music’s biggest persona, but also highlight never-before-seen interview footage with ABC News stars Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.
And, while the doc will air as planned tonight, Jackson’s estate is letting it be well known they are not in favor. See their full statement inside:
“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.”
The estate continued:
“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.”
Spokespeople from ABC retorted:
“ABC News’ documentary explores the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide. The program does not infringe on his estate’s rights, but as a courtesy, we removed a specific image from the promotional material.”