Reelz is debuting "Autopsy: The Last Hours of Eddie Van Halen" on Sunday.
update: 12:25PM PT June 2 2022
REELZ provided the following statement with general information about the series:
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 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.
original story below: 12:39AM PT June 2 2022
Eddie Van Halen passed away after a battle with throat cancer in 2020 at just 65 years old. Two years later, Reelz is launching a documentary about his death -- and his ex-wife and son are not happy about it.
Eddie's son with Valerie Bertinelli, Wolfgang, shared his outrage with a scathing Twitter post on Wednesday calling out the network and basically anyone involved in the film from production to audience.
"F--- @ReelzChannel, f--- everyone that works on this show, and f--- you if you watch it. F------ disgusting trying to glamorize someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless," he wrote.
Among the comments is one from mom Valerie, who added, "Good Christ this is disgusting." TooFab has reached out to Reelz for comment on these reactions.
According to the network, "Autopsy: The Last Hours of Eddie Van Halen" will explore the "darker undercurrent that would plague Eddie throughout his life" that they say was "behind his contagious smile."
While the focal point of the documentary may be on his final hours, it's also going to explore his life and career, including his "addiction issues over four decades," even drawing into question how Eddie died from what is described as a disease with "reasonable survival rates."
As such, the documentary touts bringing in a "world renowned forensic pathologist" to dig into Eddie's complete life and story to see "what else may have been going on in his body, ultimately leading to his untimely death."
With a description like that, this is being presented as something different than just a retrospective of Eddie's life and career and tragic death, which certainly appears to be why both Wolfgang and Valerie are so staunchly against it.
Fans rallied behind the mother-and-son duo with messages of support on both Wolfgang's initial post as well as Valerie's comment, with others defending the show, explaining that the network only uses publicly available information for these programs.
I totally understand your feelings on This. I won’t watch it. I personally think it’s in bad taste to even put this out there. 💔 we miss our Eddie 💔 Those of us that have been fans already know what happened. Wolfgang, from a mom of 2 awesome boys… Sending you (((Hugs)))