Valérie Bertinelli and her son, Wolfgang Van Halen, were both surprised by an upcoming episode of the documentary series “Autopsy: The Last Hours of . . .”
The show will discuss the death of Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang’s father and Bertinelli’s ex-husband. The legendary Van Halen guitarist died in October 2020 at the age of 65 from cancer.
The “One Day at a Time” star, 62, and her 31-year-old Grammy-nominated son blasted the network for wanting to air the episode this Sunday.
In a explicit tweet, Wolfgang writes: “F – – k @ReelzChannel. F––k everyone who works on this show, and f––k you if you watch it.
He continued: “F – – disgusting king trying to glorify someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless. Under his tweet, Bertinelli replied, “My God, this is disgusting.” Bertinelli and Eddie were married from 1981 to 2007.
Reelz released a statement Thursday that, without specifically naming Eddie Van Halen, alluded to the controversy in a roundabout way.
“’Autopsy: The Last Hours of . . . ‘responsibly explores the circumstances of the deaths of well-known and genuinely beloved celebrities about whom the public cares deeply,’ the statement began.
“The REELZ series generates a lot of feedback from our viewers, ranging from healthcare professionals praising its scientific accuracy, fans telling us it shuts down, or that they’ve become more proactive for the benefit of their health and many who gain useful perspective on health issues that otherwise they might not receive attention,” they continued.
In supporting his defense, Reelz mentioned the deaths of some celebrities who suffered from major health issues, including “Karen Carpenter who brought anorexia into public consciousness, Prince whose death brought attention to the epidemic of opioids and Luke Perry whose passing has renewed attention to strokes, which affect people of all ages.
According to an official episode synopsis, the show features renowned medical examiner Dr. Michael Hunter analyzing “every detail of [Van Halen’s] life in order to piece together what else may have happened to his body, ultimately leading to his untimely death.
“If Eddie’s disease was caught early, survival rates were reasonable, so what exactly happened?” the requested description.
Fans also shook their heads during the broadcast, tweeting their disgust and disdain for the upcoming episode.
“I refuse to look. There isn’t an ounce of substance in any of these shows. It is only meant to sensationalize the negative to sell advertising,” a person wrote. “Difficult pass.”
“If you have an ounce of decency you will cancel this program, please let EVH rest in peace, this is all private to his family and should not be shown publicly,” another intervened.