The documentary Finding Michael, which chronicles Made In Chelsea celebrity Spencer Matthews' quest to locate his brother's remains on Mount Everest, has sparked a mixed reaction from viewers due to the program's choice to obscure images of deceased individuals.
In 1999, Michael accomplished the impressive feat of becoming the youngest British person to reach the summit of Everest. Unfortunately, he vanished just three hours after reaching the peak, and it was later discovered that he perished in a storm.
For two years, Spencer has been working on a documentary that follows his search for his brother's remains among the deceased individuals on Everest.
The ascent to the summit of Everest is littered with the corpses of those who perished, with the majority of the bodies of the over 300 climbers who died on the mountain remaining on the peak.
The cost of extracting a body from Everest can range from $40,000 (£33,000) to $80,000 (£66,000), and there is no assurance of success.
The Disney+ documentary Finding Michael, which is spearheaded by Spencer, was originally scheduled to premiere on the streaming platform on March 3rd. However, at the last minute, the release was postponed, and it was subsequently released on March 7th.
Disney issued an apology on social media for the postponement, expressing gratitude to viewers who were anticipating the film's release and thanking them for their patience.
The documentary's release was reportedly delayed because it includes footage of deceased climbers on Mount Everest. As a result, the film was re-edited to remove or blur such scenes.
The Daily Mirror further reported that, just hours before the planned release, "endless viewings" and "two official screenings" resulted in concerns that footage of the dead bodies "might be deemed insensitive."
According to sources Spencer was "absolutely furious" about the unexpected delay, and viewers have been discussing the decision to obscure or blur footage of the deceased climbers in the documentary.
One viewer expressed confusion at the decision to blur out dead bodies, noting that Finding Michael began with a disclaimer about its content.
Another suggested that the documentary should have provided a warning and let viewers decide what they wanted to see, giving them the option of a blurred or unblurred version.
On the other hand, some felt that delaying the release of the documentary to blur the footage was the right decision. One individual stated that the focus of the program was on finding Michael, not on viewing dead bodies, while another proposed that the bodies were likely blurred out as a sign of respect for the victims.
Many agreed that respect for the families of the deceased climbers was a valid reason to postpone the release of Finding Michael for a few days.
The documentary is now available for streaming on Disney+.