PvZ’s Michael Jackson Zombie Sent Back to the Grave

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The Michael Jackson lookalike zombie in _Plants vs. Zombies_—one of that game's best, most surprising enemies—is being phased out on the request of the late King of Pop's estate. PopCap Games's official statement:

The Estate of Michael Jackson objected to our use of the 'dancing zombie' in PLANTS vs. ZOMBIES based on its view that the zombie too closely resembled Michael Jackson. After receiving this objection, PopCap made a business decision to retire the original 'dancing zombie' and replace it with a different 'dancing zombie' character for future builds of PLANTS vs.ZOMBIES on all platforms. The phase-out and replacement process is underway.

As the linked MTV News article states, it's likely the Dancing Zombie (as he's properly called) could be considered parody and is therefore legal, but PopCap has surely made the right decision here. Over our vacation I introduced my fiancee's nieces and nephews to PvZ on my iPad, and I worried that showing kids a cartoon zombie version of a real person who'd recently passed away was in poor taste. (PvZ came out in 2008; Jackson died of heart failure last year.)