ABC is moving forward with its plan to air “The Last Days of Michael Jackson,” a special TV show about the final period of the popular music star’s life, scheduled to air on Thursday evening. ABC’s decision comes despite strong objections from Michael Jackson’s estate regarding the content of the show.

Jackson’s estate says the special is exploitation

According to Page Six, the estate of Michael Jackson says “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” is an offense to the King of Pop’s legacy. In a public statement on Wednesday, the estate said that ABC’s special does not have any endorsement or approval from Jackson’s heirs. The public statement also included claims of possible infringement by ABC of the estate’s intellectual property rights, noting that ABC used images and music from Michael Jackson in the special and in promotions without the permission of the estate.

ABC denies any copyright infringement.

ABC says the special is of great public interest

Rolling Stone reports that "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" will cover the pop star's controversial final days and will also include never-before-broadcasted interviews between the King of Pop and Barbara Waters and Diane Sawyer. Page Six reports that ABC, which is owned by Disney, did, however, remove a picture used in promotional materials as a courtesy to the estate. Likely, there is a more emotional reason that the subject matter of this special is resulting in conflict between the estate and ABC [VIDEO].

Circumstances of Jackson's death were controversial

Perhaps the scandal arising from the broadcasting of this special lies in the controversies surrounding Michael Jackson's early death at age 50.

Page Six reports that "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" includes coverage of the star's decline. Over the years, there have been rumors that Jackson's death stemmed from his reliance on stimulants and sedatives to meet the demands of a rigorous rehearsal schedule. USA Today reports that Jackson's autopsy revealed that the cause of death was acute intoxication related to the drug propofol, an anesthetic. In 2011, a cardiologist was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the drug. Certainly, the many stories and rumors surrounding the actual last days of the global icon are a source of pain for his heirs, and an objection to ABC's special may be a move to avoid revisiting a difficult period of their lives.