The Estate of Michael Jackson Releases Statement Regarding ABC News Special on Michael Jackson

The Estate of Michael Jackson Releases Statement Regarding ABC News Special on Michael Jackson

The Estate of Michael Jackson releases statement regarding ABC NEWS SPECIAL on Michael Jackson. Read it here:

"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.

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 Estate of Michael Jackson"

ABC News presents a two-hour prime-time television event about Michael Jackson - exploring the King of Pop's life and legacy - from his complicated childhood to the record-breaking comeback concerts, "This Is It," that he didn't live to perform. Ahead of the 10th anniversary of Jackson's untimely passing, ABC News profiles one of the most influential artists of all time through interviews with the people he knew alongside never-before-seen video from interviews he did with ABC News anchors Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer. The special also includes new interviews with Derek "Cooley" Jackson, one of the dancers who taught Jackson how to moonwalk; Navi, the world-famous Jackson impersonator who was hired as his decoy at public events; and Lisa Staub, the tour operator who was in front of his house on the day he died. "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" airs on Thursday, May 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.

Jackson evolved from the shy, chubby-cheeked boy fronting the Jackson 5 band to become a solo music superstar, captivating the world with his otherworldly dance moves and unique style of showmanship. He would create the biggest-selling album of all time, breaking records and racial barriers throughout his career. Rising to greatness during the height of the MTV era, Jackson was an avatar of the celebrity age.

While he was beloved by a cadre of super fans, Jackson's private and public life became a spectacle. It was said that he existed in an isolated state of loneliness, surrounded by a revolving door of managers, advisors and lawyers. His desire for normalcy existed amid news and gossip stories of his changing physical appearance, abusive childhood, ongoing lawsuits, erratic behavior and molestation accusations.

In his later days, Jackson turned into a doting father of three children that he adored. While some say he wanted to perform again for them, others insisted he needed to tour because of his immense fiscal challenges - a result perhaps of uncontrolled spending, legal woes and complicated and convoluted financial dealings.

On March 5, 2009, Jackson announced "This Is It" - a series of 10 "final curtain call" performances that would be the last time the world would see the man who had touched the hearts of millions. Tickets quickly sold out and the number of concert dates soon ballooned to 50. But behind the scenes, the stress of a comeback was taking its toll on Jackson. Many of the those involved in the production grew concerned about his health and ability to perform so many shows; and as the start date was pushed back, few knew just how addicted he had become to drugs. With only 18 days left before the first performance, Jackson passed away due to a combination of drugs in his system, most notably Propofol.

The special is produced by ABC News. David Sloan is senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is executive producer.



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