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Discovery Channel - Petition Against Autopsy Show

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Post by BeGodsGlow on Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:40 pm

We've posted links to info on Facebook. I will update more in the next day or two here. First:

Here is the petition:

Catherine Gross is scheduling another show on 12/27/10 (A PLace in Your Heart Radio)

Here's a great compilation on steps to take, who to write to, etc, from Barbara at Inner Michael:

Please feel free to discuss and add new info:

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Post by mjbunny on Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:28 pm

To listen and/or download Catherine Gross' radio show on this topic from December 27:

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Post by BeGodsGlow on Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:40 pm

Please read the message below or on our website (Important Update Regarding Discovery Channel) for details about the scheduled mock autopsy television program set to air throughout Europe in January. [Also see from today: Jackson Estate Demands Cancellation of Autopsy Show] There is a worldwide joint effort by websites and forums to stop this program from going forward. If you are in agreement... please, we NEED YOU to help with this right away! Read the message below about steps to take TODAY. Please translate and alert fan sites in your own language if necessary. The program is set to air in two weeks on Discovery Channel in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. It will air on DMAX in Germany and on Real Time in Italy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

No doubt you are aware that Discovery Communications intend to air a succession of programs that re-enact a mock autopsy of Michael Jackson, using a synthetic cadaver and a doctor who will perfom the mock autopsy. Scheduled to hit UK screens and a host of other countries throughout Europe, from January 13th through to the 16th, many people within the fanbase -- and elsewhere -- are naturally appalled by this prospect. Advertised as a dramatic re-enactment of Michael's autopsy, recently released promo grabs of the imagery Discovery plans to use, reveal the obviously sensationalist intention behind the making of these shows. All members of this site are now asked to express their clear opposition to these programs. We are not deluding ourselves. These programs may indeed air, but to do nothing shames us as Fans -- and as people.

Everyone is now asked to do three simple things:

1: Express Your disgust in emails, calls and letters. In the US, UK, and other countries around the world, people are writing, emailing and calling Discovery as often as they can ( preferably daily). How do you to do that? Details here: : We need thousands of people, the like of whch has never been seen, to call the numbers contained within the above link. We are advising fans to prepare a written statement before they call so that they can express themselves clearly to the operator they reach -- or the recorded message they are directed to.People can then leave that message at Discovery's Viewer Relations phone line in the US, the customer service department in the UK, and the phone-line of Lucy Radciffe --- the senior assistant to Nicolas Bonard -- head of Discovery UK. That link also contains the email addresses of key Discovery executives and the email address of Dr Hunter who will be 'performing' the mock autopsy.

2: Block Discovery from their Cable viewing selection - and make sure Discovery know they have done so. By calling their cable providers and requesting that the Discovery channel is removed or blocked from their TV line-up, and/or blocking Dscovery by using the parental controls feature on their Cable or Dish set-up ---and making sure Discovery know they have done this -- fans can easily but effectively put their protest to Discovery -- into action. The most important point is this: -- that by making that call to their cable provider and asking that a log be made of their request for the removal of the Discovery Channel from their package, or informing their provider that they have blocked Discovery from their channel selection -- you will send a loud and clear protest to Discovery. Simply blocking Discovery does not send a digital or automatic signal to them. It is when fans actually call their cable providers, then call Discovery, and send an email to Discovery's on-site complaints link -- that Discovery are immediately alerted that there is a serious problem -- and one that won't go away. Details on how to block and inform Discovery are at this link:

3: Help build a 'Discovery Protest Package.' All fans area asked to send a copy of the emails they send to Discovery executives ( you can simply cc all of them in one email) to . We are asking for this so that those emails can be added to a phsyical package that will be fedexed to Discovery in early January 2011. Thank you everyone for your help. We all know why we are doing this -- and whatever happens -- Not trying wasn't an option.

NOTE: For addresses and email addresses to write to at Discovery, see:

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Post by mjbunny on Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:24 am

Letter from Estate to Discovery. I agree 100%.

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Post by mjbunny on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:27 am


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The line of human dignity was almost crossed...

"The Discovery Channel has provided for many years valuable documentary
programming focused primarily on popular science, technology and
history. With this backdrop in mind, I find it incredulous that
Discovery would exploit the recent death of Michael Jackson to increase
their viewership at the expense of the integrity and positive
educational track record of their network. The insensitivity and
unprofessional tabloid approach that Discovery has decided to pursue is
not only hurtful to the future of the network, but is deeply hurtful to
the Jackson family, friends, colleagues and millions of supporters
throughout the world... Please re-consider airing this dreadful
re-enactment." ~Statement from Stuart Backerman, Former Press Spokesman
for Michael Jackson

"L.A. County Coroner Ed Winter joins the criticism of the Discovery Network's
upcoming special reenacting Michael Jackson's autopsy. Discovery
Producers asked him for an interview earlier this year to describe the
autopsy: "I told them no, we had no interest in doing it and it was a
pending case... I think it's unprofessional and I wouldn't do it out of
respect for the family." ~Assistant Chief Coroner, LA

"Dear Sir, As a personal friend and previous physician to Michael Jackson for
some years, I would like to also add my name to the growing number of
people who feel that the special show to air in the UK on January 13th
called “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson,”
is being done for the wrong reasons and transgresses the boundaries of
prudence and good taste. Autopsies, either forensic or academic should
only be performed for legal or medical purposes, rather than for
entertainment. A forensic autopsy should be only performed, as in this
case, whenever the cause of death may be a criminal matter and this is
the reason you do not intend this production within the US jurisdiction.
Your show debases what is accepted decent behaviour within legal and
medical practice in western civilisation since possibly two and a half
millennia. Forensic autopsies have been performed under established
clear regulatory parameters since 150 BC, including that of Julius
Caesar in 44BC, which showed the second stab wound was the fatal one.
Permission is normally required from next of kin is usually required for
autopsy, although in this case you are circumventing this by use of a
synthetic cadaver. There is a copy of the official coroner’s report on
public record so I don’t presume the viewers will learn anything new
from your production. It seems to me that the Discovery Channel is
attempting to cash in on the misfortune of mythically famous cultural
icon, with no respect either for human decency or the feelings of his
children. Shame on you, ~Dr. Patrick Treacy, Medical Director--
Ailesbury Clinics Ltd., Dublin,

Congratulations, Discovery. You just helped the light of human dignity to shine a little
brighter. We thank you for your conscious action.

You were about to cross a line of human decency, worth, privacy and respect
for life had you gone ahead with your planned re-enactment of Michael
Jackson's autopsy using a realistic synthetic cadaver that approximated
his body. Discovery, you have shown courage and decency in the
cancellation of the programs you planned to air from January 13, through
January 16, 2011 in Europe.

Official statement from the Executors about Discovery’s change of heart:
"The Estate of Michael Jackson is pleased that Discovery Channel made the
correct decision in choosing to cancel this exploitative program. We are
hopeful that this show will never run in any market in the future.
While Discovery cited legal proceedings and our request as the reasons
for its decision, none of this would have happened had it not been for
the incredible passion displayed by countless Michael Jackson fans
worldwide who knew they stood as one and that their voices could not be
ignored." ~John Branca, Executor for Michael Jackson's estate.

The real question is: How did we arrive here anyway?
We would now ask them to consider what kind of cultural "norm" might have
prompted them to think the unthinkable, or plan the unacceptable and we
invite them, as well as all other media, to seriously consider examining
their policies and what they consider ethical programming standards.

You may be hearing more from us-- the crazy ones who stand up for sanity and human dignity. We invite you to stand with us.
Michael Jackson was a human being. He was a father, a brother, and a son. He was also loved by millions around the world.
We believe in the worth and dignity of every human being. Nobody deserves
to be treated in a way that dehumanizes them-- not in life, and
certainly not in death.

This could have ended in a much different way. Now comes a re-examination of standards that inform the cultural narrative on this planet.
Never before in the history of television or media has anyone ever considered
featuring the personal autopsy of a recognized human being using a
synthetic cadaver to graphically dismember someone who once lived -- and
is survived by three young children.

Justice and Fairness Derailed?
What distressed us was that this program was cynically planned for
deliberate broadcast in Europe so that Michael Jackson's family and
estate would have no legal reach and would be unable to stop the
broadcast. It also included across the board screening in multiple
countries and that tells us it was being considered for syndication.

But what concerned us most is that Michael Jackson has three minor children
and such a program could not escape them. This image in the collective
memory which would have found its way into their world had the potential
to scar them emotionally. That rendered this program abusive to minor

The airing of the program might have obstructed legal justice since it had
the potential to reach the minds of the public and prejudice the jury
pool in the forthcoming January trial of Dr. Murray, the physician who
administered his medication and was treating Michael Jackson when his
death occurred.

It is really disheartening to think that media would schedule a program
with this kind of content at precisely the time the public would once
again become conscious of Michael Jackson, and that they would piggyback
on that focus solely for the sake of ratings and bottom line profits.
That isn’t journalism; it’s cannibalism.

Does this kind of programming rise to the level of bullying?
We think so. And we believe Michael Jackson's children would agree. Their
father was bullied in life -- and now, it seems there are those who want
the bullying to continue even beyond death. His children are the ones
who suffer. They don’t live in a vacuum and they are affected by
inhumane treatment of their father. We are pretty sure they would like
to remember him as their beloved father.

His fans, friends and collaborators who know the truth about him -- knew a dramatically different man to the one many believe he was. They knew him as a cherished friend, role model and hero.
It’s time to tell the truth and reveal the deliberate manipulation of that
truth. It’s time to show you the real Michael Jackson:

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Understand that everyone would have become vulnerable.
We cannot imagine that any human being would find this kind of programming
in good taste. We wondered: what would stop Discovery or any other
media outlet from dismembering and dissecting other beloved figures or
celebrities publicly if the program went forward? What if they exhumed
Lady Diana? Tim Russert? What if Oprah died tomorrow, or Bono, Helen
Mirren, Britney Spears, or Prince William? We wouldn't want to see any
of them displayed on a slab for profit and before the hungry eyes of
invasive voyeurs. We believe we are better than that. And we want the
media to believe it too.

The cynical precedent that would have been established with Discovery
crossing a line that would have made everyone fair game to exploitation
as lab specimens for sensationalism, market share and promoting
sponsor's products.

A Brand has become branded
Discovery Channel was deleted from many cable packages and its sponsors will
forever wear a scarlet letter in our eyes, so we would ask that they
rethink what kind of programming they support and what constitutes
acceptable media narrative.

Discovery’s major sponsors include: Volkswagen, Procter and Gamble, Dow Chemical--
as more are revealed and substantiated, we will continue revealing them.
It should be noted that viewers' decisions about boycotting of these
brands is suspended pending final word from Discovery about their future
plans with this documentary.

Dehumanizing people has consequences
One thing that makes this kind of program possible is when humans
dehumanize other humans. When people lack ethics or ignore conscience,
human laboratories and other abominations become possible: ethnic
cleansing, lynchings, witch burning, human ovens, terrorism and war. So
if you think there is no slippery slope, you are wrong. Dead wrong. Our
humanity dies when we accept the claim that "anything goes." Michael
Jackson was systematically and falsely vilified over time. His humanity
was stolen and our own humanity along with it.

Aren't we better than this? Aren't we there yet? Discovery drew this line and
we hope they meant it when they drew the other—the line for human
dignity. When a line like this is crossed it cannot be ignored, and
those who forget the humanity of themselves and others must be called
out. This is a global village that we are learning to navigate together.
As we learn and go forward, let’s not leave our humanity behind.

We are still at a crossroads in the evolution of a civilization:
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Which road will we, humanity take? The high road? Or another road?
If your decision is for human worth, decency, civility and dignity, then:
We are asking that you continue to use your voice when called and to
respectfully request a more humane treatment of all humans. And refuse
to consume that which reduces people to less than human.

As a consumer, you have power and you can effect change. If you're
offended by something, you can always ask that the offending channel be
removed from your cable bundle or have your provider block it. You can
write letters and you can stop using the products and companies who
sponsor offensive programming.

Then tell the offender what you have done in a letter or email.
"When power leads the media toward arrogance, we will remind them of their
limitations. When people narrow the truth about Michael, we will remind
them of his richness and love. When the media corrupts the people's
minds, we shall cleanse them". ~John F. Kennedy and Patrick Treacy (2
great Irishmen)

The truth of why this violation could not ignored still stands:
All previous televised autopsies have been conducted on anonymous cadavers; their faces covered.

  • All bodies dissected were formally donated to Medical Institutes and the
    donors consented to their remains being used for educational purposes.

  • Michael Jackson did not consent to his remains-- virtual or otherwise being
    used to satisfy anyone’s morbid curiosity or consent to millions
    viewing his virtual internal organs.

  • The dead remain a part of the living community, to be honored -- not used for entertainment.

  • For many, this program would have provoked a horrific unease, anxiety,
    dread or revulsion. For some it would have resulted in PTSD (Post
    Traumatic Stress Disorder.)

  • Even if a cadaver is synthetic, the process of repeatedly associating the
    name of a recognized person -- is a violation of their name and memory.

  • The virtual autopsy of Michael Jackson was a planned publicity stunt
    designed to exploit inhumane curiosity and had nothing to do with
    education or fact finding.

  • In the same way burial sites are also considered deeply important,
    autopsies—even virtual ones, should be conducted in private, not on
    worldwide television.

  • Our responsibility is to respect those who once lived and whom they have loved -- and who love them still.

  • We are not beings isolated within nature; what is done to one of us is done to all.

  • We may not be aware of exactly why this was so wrong, but we know that
    it is -- and we will never feel the same way about Discovery again.

  • There is no respect or inherent value in this type of programming. It
    disrespects all peoples. It violates the sanctity of family, of life
    and memories, of everything we hold to be precious about the lives we
    are given. It violates humanity, the humane, and every sane thinking

  • All human cultures recognize the sanctity of human remains and burial and
    the peaceful non-disturbance of the deceased. This program and the use
    of a simulated corpse violate those sensibilities and moral codes.

  • This program would have been duplicated and parodied on YouTube, and
    Discovery would have been culpable and held accountable for any damage
    in the aftermath.

  • Mr. Jackson’s minor children don’t care about Discovery Channel's sync-rights or profits. They care about their father.

Lines exist for a reason. Burial sites are sacred. So are human beings. We
might want to hold that as self evident. A line was almost crossed. We
are glad it was not.

Now, if you want to know the real Michael Jackson... GO HERE

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