Wolfgang Van Halen has criticised a “disgusting” new episode of the TV show Autopsy, based around the death of his father Eddie.
The show digs into the stories behind the death of public figures, and its network Reelz shared a sneak peak this week (May 31) into its new special, Autopsy: The Last Hours Of Eddie Van Halen.
A synopsis for the special, airing on Reelz on Sunday night (June 5), reads (via Blabbermouth): “On October 6, 2020 the world was shocked by the news that guitar legend Eddie Van Halen had died. A rock prodigy with a boyish charm he was never more comfortable than when he had a guitar in his hand. Known as the founder of Van Halen, the band that became synonymous with California cool, Eddie was actually of both Dutch and Indonesian heritage. His family moved to California from the Netherlands when Eddie was a child.
“Eddie came to America without knowing English but by the time he was 25 years old his band had sold multiple platinum albums and his innovative guitar techniques cemented him in rock and roll history. But behind his contagious smile there was a darker undercurrent that would plague Eddie throughout his life. 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.”
It added: “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? Now renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter will analyse every detail of his life in order to piece together what else may have been going on in his body, ultimately leading to his untimely death.”
In response to the show being teased, Eddie’s son Wolfgang shared an angry response, calling the show “disgusting” and “heartless”.
He tweeted: “Fuck [Reelz], fuck everyone that works on this show, and fuck you if you watch it. Fucking disgusting trying to glamorise someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless.”
Fuck @ReelzChannel, fuck everyone that works on this show, and fuck you if you watch it. Fucking disgusting trying to glamorize someone’s death from cancer. Pathetic and heartless. https://t.co/84BE5rx81C
— Wolf Van Halen 🐺 🚐 🙌 (@WolfVanHalen) June 1, 2022
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Eddie Van Halen reportedly left a contribution of at least $1million (£780,000) to the US-based music education charity Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF).
For 26 years, the MHOF – named for the titular character of the 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus (played by Richard Dreyfuss) – has aimed to provide school-aged children from low-income backgrounds with the opportunity to enjoy music education, offering, among other avenues, access to musical instruments.
According to a statement issued by the MHOF, Van Halen left the charity a seven-figure bequest. An exact sum wasn’t specified, but the statement said the “transformative” amount would provide a “significant [increase to] the nonprofit’s capacity to support music programs across the country”.
On 16 November 2020, Wolfgang released his debut solo single, ‘Distance’, a cut from his debut album. The proceeds from the sale of the track were donated to the MHOF, reportedly in “support of school music programs… and as a dedication to his late father”.