The other day, Us Weekly made public footage from 1984, showing Michael Jackson on the set of a Pepsi ad that went terribly wrong
. On the set, the singer suffered second- and third-degree burns on his face and body when pyrotechnics went off too soon, in what is believed to be the incident that pushed him to heavy drug use and countless plastic surgeries. The company is now speaking out, saying it sees no reason why the video was ever released.
In a statement to Music-Mix from EW
, Pepsi adds that, while it is not the owner of the footage, it can’t possibly understand why a magazine – Us Weekly, in this case – would ever want to make public such shocking images. However, the statement further points out, tracking down the rightful owner of the video after 25 years is almost impossible, so Pepsi can’t but regret and be upset by the leak, since it has no legal means to make sure it is not further circulated.
“We don’t know how the footage became available. Twenty-five years later, we’d question why anyone would want to share such frightening images. It was a terrifying event that we’ll never forget. We were grateful for Michael’s recovery and for the chance to continue working with him on a number of successful projects. As for Michael as an artist, his music helped us define a generation and, like everyone else, we’re deeply saddened by his passing.” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley says for EW.
As for making sure the video is pulled off the Internet, as of now, such a thing is impossible, Bradley explains. No one seems to know exactly who shot the video or whether Pepsi has any right over it, and, clearly, trying to establish that after so many years is highly unlikely. What is certain, though, Bradley adds, is that the leak online did not come from Pepsi.
“We don’t know what that footage is. It’s 25 years ago. We don’t know who owns it, so we have no recourse as far as I know. I can only tell you what I know. We didn’t put it up and we don’t know where it came from.” Bradley explains. As we also informed you
the other day, the video was unveiled by Us Weekly, by means of an explanation as to when Michael started using drugs. Because of the severe burns he suffered on the Pepsi set, it is believed he was put on strong painkillers for a long time, while also requiring several corrective surgical interventions.