Discovery has shelved a planned special about Michael Jackson‘s autopsy that caused a wave of outrage when word of it leaked earlier this week.
In a statement, Discovery cites the pending court case against Jackson’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, as the reason for pulling the show. A preliminary hearing in the involuntary manslaughter case against Murray is scheduled to start Monday (Jan. 3); “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson” was set for Jan. 13 on Discovery Channel UK (it wasn’t slated to air in the United States).
“Given the commencement of legal proceedings beginning next week, and at the request of Michael Jackson’s estate, the scheduled broadcast of the medical documentary related to Michael Jackson’s official autopsy has been postponed indefinitely,” the Discovery statement reads.
Word of the special, which would have re-created Jackson’s autopsy, leaked earlier this week and drew immediate fire from Jackson fans and the singer’s estate. Executors John Branca and John McClain sent a letter to Discovery CEO David Zaslav saying the program was in “shockingly bad taste” and accused Discovery of “cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value.”