Reelz Channel has defended its upcoming documentary special focusing on the death of rock legend Eddie Van Halen in the wake of criticism from his son Wolfgang Van Halen.
Wolfgang Van Halen harshly criticized the news of the documentary, titled Autopsy: The Last Hours of Eddie Van Halen, saying that trying to glamorize someone’s death from cancer is “pathetic and heartless.”
Eddie Van Halen’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli also criticized the program.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Reelz television network claimed that the episode surrounding the last hours of Eddie Van Halen “responsibly” explored the “circumstances” around his death.
“Autopsy: The Last Hours of… responsibly explores the circumstances of the passing of well known and genuinely loved celebrities who the public cares about immensely,” the statement says. “The REELZ series generates much feedback from our viewers ranging from medical professionals who praise its scientific accuracy, fans who tell us it provides closure or that they have become more proactive for the benefit of their health and many who gain helpful perspective of health issues that might not otherwise receive attention like Karen Carpenter who brought anorexia into the public consciousness, Prince whose passing focused attention on the opioid epidemic and Luke Perry whose passing renewed attention to strokes that affect people of all ages.”
The Autopsy: The Last Hours Of. docuseries looks into the deaths of global celebrities and “people whose untimely deaths surrounded by scandal and intense media attention” using post-mortem reports and medical evidence.
The controversial Eddie Van Halen episode will be broadcast on Sunday.
Van Halen, who struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse, died of a stroke at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65.
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