Controversial Michael Jackson documentary slammed by estate for being ‘in bad taste’

British TV network Discovery Channel UK was expected to air a controversial documentary on the death of Michael Jackson, but has postponed its release indefinitely following an angry letter from Jackson’s estate.

A year and a half after the death of the King of pop, the Discovery Channel UK has sparked controversy when it announced it will be airing a documentary special called “Michael Jackson’s autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson”.

The special was expected to be aired on Thursday, January 13. However, Jackson’s angered estate has been trying to prevent the programme from airing, where its been considered that the channel is trying to capitalise on the King of Pop’s death.

Although it is not clear how much detail will not be spared in the recreation of Jackson’s autopsy, co-executors of MJ's estate, John Branca and John McClain, sent an angry letter to Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

“Your decision to even schedule this program is in shockingly bad taste,” they wrote. “(The programme) appears motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael's death, while cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value.”

The lawyers said they were especially outraged by a “sickening” Internet advert, which is circulating to promote the documentary, depicting a corpse on a steel table covered by a sheet, with a hand sticking out wearing Jackson’s signature sequined glove.

Yesterday, Discovery Channel International announced its plans to put the autopsy reenactment program on hold.

Amongst the reasons it gave for pulling the documentary, the network cited the legal proceedings surrounding the criminal case against Dr. Conrad Murray, the same doctor who has been accused of being responsible for Jackson’s death. Hearings in the case start next week.

A spokesman for Discovery Communications reportedly declined to comment on the letter. An online petition organised by Jackson fans around the world is also circulating to stop the documentary being aired.

The controversial special has not yet been scheduled to air in Canada or the U.S.

Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009, of an overdose of prescription drugs and the powerful anesthetic propofol.