Michael Jackson Estate Forces Removal of Plant-Eating Zombie

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Everybody now: daaaaaaaaaaaw

This is dumb. They're dumb.

I guess we should go back and digitally remove actors from movies after they pass on, because the fact that people die is apparently still too adult for people that supposedly grew up a long time ago.

The irony is that the "Jackson Estate" is probably being less respectful of Michael than what they're accusing Popcap of doing. I mean really... it's a completely harmless little homage to Michael, AND it was done well before he died, so they can't really claim that Popcap was trying to make fun of that by making him into a zombie.

I can see it now though. The description for the new "Dancing Zombie" is going to have a jab at the Jackson Estate. Popcap has a clever enough humor that they can find a way to do it without it being obvious to anyone but those who know about it.

I know we're a cynical bunch here at the escapist, but it is still JUST possible that the Jackson family only recently heard about this, and see it as someone having a joke at Michael's expense, especially with him being dead, and undead in game. There's the possibility they asked for it to be removed for respect purposes and Popcap did.

I'm not saying it did happen, it's likely to all be down to laywers and cash, but it's possible. I know I'd feel kinda upset if one of my family members died and showed up as a comedy character in a game. (yes I know the game came before the death.)

All in all, while Michael was fairly nutty, and his family are a bit strange too, they're still a family who recently lost a son, and probably have a right to be offended about zombie jokes. It does seem a shame when this one was fairly harmless, and there's so much worse out there tho.

Michael himself would have loved it. What this shows is his family either A)didn't know what Michael really liked as far as homages in his honor, or B)Don't give a shit because all they care about is the money they can squeeze from his rotting corpse. I'm about willing to bet all of the above.

Wow, what killjoys.

Now, I will agree that the red leather outfit, the jheri-curls, and the blatant reference "resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" probably gives the estate the legal grounds to pursue action, but on the other hand...

Do they not realize that it's a very positive reference: one which evokes happy memories for those of us who saw the video, and might even expand his audience a little by sparking some interest in the character in younger generations?

Just seems silly and- at best- pointless- at worst- even perhaps a little self-defeating.

What a disappointment, it was a funny tribute to one of the most famous music videos ever made. I wonder if this really upset any of the family cf. some humourless suits managing the estate.

Gift.

SenseOfTumour:
I know we're a cynical bunch here at the escapist, but it is still JUST possible that the Jackson family only recently heard about this, and see it as someone having a joke at Michael's expense, especially with him being dead, and undead in game. There's the possibility they asked for it to be removed for respect purposes and Popcap did.

I'm not saying it did happen, it's likely to all be down to laywers and cash, but it's possible. I know I'd feel kinda upset if one of my family members died and showed up as a comedy character in a game. (yes I know the game came before the death.)

All in all, while Michael was fairly nutty, and his family are a bit strange too, they're still a family who recently lost a son, and probably have a right to be offended about zombie jokes. It does seem a shame when this one was fairly harmless, and there's so much worse out there tho.

I wouldn't feel upset. Having a dead family member in game would be -awesome-. Or myself even. But, that's a different mindset, so, I can understand how some people could be upset by it.

Digikid:
Would they like a little cheese with their "Whine"?

GENTLEMAN CHO'GATH WIN

This just depresses me, luckily i have a non-steam version so i just won't update it.

I'm pretty sure the Jackson Estate doesn't have any legal legs to stand on (not only is this obviously parody, which is perfectly legal, but they don't even mention him directly). I think it was more of a request, which the devs took to heart. Think of it as a favour to MJ, to keep his family happy.

You're only really in breach of copyright if you try to pass other people's concepts off as your own, and even then it takes a lot of proof to convince most judges your idea was stolen.

Yay! Vintage, pre-redaction version of the game! With Original Zombie flavors!

I don't think Michael Jackson would have had a problem with this. MJ was humorous guy with a good sense of humor. He even supported Weird Al's parodies of his music videos. Like I'm fat.

Double post. Sorry.

It's an homage, not a parody or something. The Thriller zombie should be kept.

That was the second funniest part of the game! :(

I'd understand if it was after MJ died, but it was a month before.

(I wonder what his reaction would be to it would be?)

Uh, what does the new zombie even look like? Anybody know?

It does kind of suck and its really stupid of the Jackson Estate. Oh well not like it effecs me il just not update my version of Plants VS Zombies and continue to play with the current one.

Bah, it happens every time with famous peoples' estates being controlled by soulless corporations.

Pop Cap should have made a bigger issue about instead of caving in so easily, it would have been good PR/Advertising + im sure Jacksons fans would not have been offended quite the opposite in fact, they had ample evidence to stick it to the Jackson Estate.

I guess it just shows how much the Michael Jackson Estate sucks arse, i doubt Michael Jackson would have had a issue with it infact he probably would have been flattered to see himself in that game.

tomtom94:
Okay, now PopCap had no idea that Michael Jackson was going to die. When he did, it was a rather unfortunate moment.
And the game's been out for over a year! What actual relevance does it have?

But, hell, if they thought it was relevant they would have removed it before now, surely.

Besides Michael Jackson was already famous for playing a zombie in a music video, so that so called Michaels Jackson Estate has zero ground to complain about it being bad taste.

well, it's a matter of time before Nintendo sues as well because the game features Bellsprouts... -_-

Susan Arendt:
This is both hella and lame. I am disappoint, Jackson Estate. VERY DISAPPOINT.

As are we all...

As are we all :(

It was funny, but I guess if the family is offended then they should remove it. Having your husband/dad die after years of ridicule is bad, and I can see why they would take offense to have a zombie resembling him dance for some laughs. It was still funny while it lasted.

But still, you'd think that they'd like a small homage to the late king of pop, right?

In case anyone wants to see what they replaced MJ with: http://twitpic.com/29aehr

I don't think they can really have any ground to stand on.

Did Michael Jackson come back and copyright dancing zombies whilst no-one was looking?

Should have been protected under parody rights. PopCap should of told them to forget it.

Were I to opt for sarcasm, I would suggest that depicting Michael Jackson as he was at his moment of greatest commercial success is clearly bad for his legacy. To not do so reeks of historical revisionism.

It's been like a year already, jeez they need to a reality check if something so insignifcant is gonna bother them like that. And last time I checked, it's parody, so it's fair use.

Ummm what likeness? Ever hear of parody?Fair use?

Bullshit. The only thing I can imagine is that they went insane from grief. So I will leave it at that. ;(

Sure you have no problem with taking advantage of Mike when you are getting a cut Jackson Estate

(like... here...
image

but when you don't get a cut its "Please respect the memory of our beloved Michael."

(Google images appears to have changed their image search UI because apparently trying to fix what isn't broken is a great thing to do if you want to have kicks and giggles. I am not sure if the image will show up properly.)

Cliff_m85:
What's the problem? Oh yeah, if there were to be an undead MJ there'd have to be undead children too. ;) I can see how the estate got offended.

thtat was offensive xD even too me

CitySquirrel:
I always thought the dancing zombie was Elvis. (apparently, so did my mother)

when did elvis have a jerry curl? or where a leather blazer?

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