If you’ve ever been flipping through channels on cable and have come across Reelz, you might have been sucked in by the frequent focus on old-school celebrities, most notably classic rock stars and their unfortunate early deaths. Once you actually sit and watch some of those programmes, however, it becomes clear how low-budget and unseemly most of them tend to be.
That’s certainly the case for Autopsy: The Last Hours of…, which also airs on Channel 5 in the UK. Now on its 13th season, Autopsy is little more than a medical expert breaking down the autopsy reports of celebrities and making assumptions about what had led to their deaths. It’s certainly junk food TV, but the show has never been so foul that it subsequently inspired an outcry.
Until now, that is. This current season of the show is set to feature the autopsy reports of Chadwick Boseman, Jackie Kennedy, Eazy E, and Sean Connery, along with an upcoming episode on Eddie Van Halen that is set to air on June 5th. Before the episode’s premiere, however, has come a public rebuke from Eddie’s son and former Van Halen bandmate Wolfgang Van Halen, who has spoken out against the show on his Twitter account.
“Fuck @ReelzChannel, fuck everyone that works on this show, and fuck you if you watch it,” Wolfgang Van Halen wrote. “Fucking disgusting trying to glamorize someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless.”
Judging by the tone of the episode’s description released by Reelz, the show will be leaning hard into Van Halen’s well-documented alcoholism and how it potentially led to his early death, something that Wolfgang quite understandably is taking offence to.
“But behind his contagious smile there was a darker undercurrent that would plague Eddie throughout his life,” the description reads. “As an extremely shy kid Eddie started drinking alcohol at just 12 years old to calm his nerves after seeing his father drink to calm himself and for the next four decades Eddie wrestled with addiction issues. Often relying on alcohol and other substances to maintain his creativity Eddie would spend many years in and out of rehab. He was a workaholic often pushing his body to the limits in order to perform while secretly battling illness. Eddie died at the age of 65 from cancer but if caught early Eddie’s disease had reasonable survival rates so what exactly happened?”
If you’re curious, or just want to raise the ire of Wolfgang, then the Eddie Van Halen episode of Autopsy will air on July 5th.