ABC News ran its two-hour Michael Jackson special on Thursday night (May 24). Titled The Last Days Michael Jackson, the television event sparked controversy before it even aired.
The Michael Jackson Estate never authorized the show and called it another “crass” attempt to exploit the late music icon’s life.
In a statement, the estate wrote, “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 ABC’s intellectual property. We believe the special to be another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image Michael Jackson without respect for Michael’s legacy, intellectual property rights or his children.”
ABC News fired back in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone, writing, “ABC News’ documentary explores the life, career and legacy Michael Jackson, who remains 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.”
Twitter evidently wasn’t too pleased with The Last Days Michael Jackson either. A flurry negative reactions hit the social media platform following the show.
From outrage over the inclusion broadcast journalist Diane Dimond, who’d slandered Jackson in the past, to disgust over the paparazzi’s behavior the day he died, Twitter wasn’t having it.
Here’s what had Twitter twisted up.