Executors of Michael Jackson's estate demanded Wednesday that the Discovery Channel cancel plans for a show purporting to re-enact the dead superstar's autopsy.
John Branca and John McClain fired off an angry letter Wednesday to Discovery Communications calling the planned show "in shockingly bad taste" and insensitive to the feelings of Jackson's family.
They accused the company of being motivated by "blind desire to exploit Michael's death, while cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value."
Branca and McClain said they were especially outraged by an Internet ad now circulating for the show, "Michael Jackson's Autopsy."
They called it "sickening" and said it depicts a corpse on a steel gurney covered by a sheet with a hand sticking out wearing Michael's signature sequined glove.
"Discovery obviously views this as clever advertising...But in fact the ad makes light of Jackson's death and is debased, sick and insensitive," the letter said.
They said some viewing "this fictitious morbid image" on the Internet may think it is real. Discovery has had a reputation for fine TV programming which is why "we find your decision to proceed with an offensive, exploitative program like 'Michael Jackson's Autopsy' so mind boggling," the lawyers said.
Branca and McClain appealed on behalf of Jackson's family, fans, common sense and decency for cancellation of the program.
A call to Discovery headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., after hours was not answered.