Michael Jackson's Family Calls New TV Special on the King of Pop 'Crass' and 'Unauthorized'
The special will run on ABC Thursday night.
Michael Jackson’s family is slamming a new ABC documentary about the singer's life and legacy, calling it "crass and unauthorized."
"The Last Days of Michael Jackson," set to premiere Thursday night on ABC, chronicles everything from the King of Pop's rise to superstardom to his shocking death in June 2009 at age 50.
It also features never-before-seen video from a 1995 interview he did with ABC News anchors Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.
ABC News correspondent Ryan Smith spoke to Inside Edition about the documentary.
"Obviously a lot of the archives we have here at ABC, you see Michael Jackson at various stages of his life and how he evolved, what he thought about his family, what he thought about his future," Smith told Inside Edition.
As soon as commercials started airing for the two-hour special, lawyers contacted the network, saying the Jackson family was "disheartened."
In a biting statement that followed, the Jacksons called the documentary a "crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit" the singer’s life.
"Well, the family had some issues with some things that we used and as a courtesy we decided to take some out," Smith said. "In a sense, I certainly understand that we are producing something that they don’t necessarily control or can’t necessary say, ‘We like this and not that.'"
ABC agreed to remove certain copyrighted images owned the Jacksons say they own, but the show itself will air as scheduled.
Smith believes the special is a comprehensive portrayal of the King of Pop.
"I think people will see this and say, 'I get the full picture of Michael Jackson. I think I understand him better,'" Smith added.
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