Pepsi Ad Controversy: Forget Kendall Jenner, Pepsi Burned Michael Jackson In 1984

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In the light of the outrage that followed the Pepsi advert that featured Kendall Jenner giving a policeman a can of Pepsi during a protest after she left her photo shoot, News articles go down memory lane to compare with a similarly iconic advert by the same company; the 1984 Pepsi commercial by Michael Jackson.

However, even that commercial was not without its controversies, as the Late King of Pop was involved in a fire-related incident.

In a newspaper article dated ‘Jan 28th, 1984’ released by the Daily News, a report of the incident was made;

Superstar singer Michael Jackson suffered second-degree burns on the scalp last night while filming a multi-million-dollar soft drink commercial featuring fireworks, which ignited his jacket and hair.

Jackson, 25, was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where a spokesman said Jackson was “fine” despite the burns. More than 50 fans were waiting outside the facility, and some of them broke into tears as Jackson was wheeled into the emergency room.

He was later transferred by ambulance to Brotman memorial Hospital Burn Center.

Witnesses reported that Jackson’s hair and jacket caught fire when he moved too close to a pyrotechnics display behind him while dancing on a tiered stage at the Shrine Auditorium to his hit single “Billie Jean.”

“Something went wrong and it exploded and Michael’s hair caught on fire,” said Jackson spokesmen John Branca.

Pomade used in Jackson’s hair appeared to catch fire, said Angela Bennett, an extra who was backstage when the accident occurred. Jackson’s brothers, who were making the commercial with him, rushed to help smother the flames, she said.

“The flames shot extremely high,” Bennett said.

Virginia Watson, a casting agent, said Jackson appeared calm and smiling as he was taken out. “He handled it extremely well,” she said.

“He had something on his head, it wasn’t a bandage, but there was something wrapped around,” Paul Cottrell, a parking lot attendant, said. “He was in a chair and they wheeled him out.”

Jackson, who won seven American Music Awards and has been nominated for a record 12 Grammys, was filming a series of Pepsi-Cola commercials to debut next month. Music industry officials said Jackson could earn as much as $10 million for the commercials.

The singer’s “Thriller” album topped the charts last year, placing unprecedented six singles including “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” in the top 10 and spawning a spectacular video.

Jackson, who spent years with his brothers as the Jackson Five on the Motown label, stepped out on his own in 1980 with the album “Off the Wall.” He now records with Columbia-Epic.

However, in comparison with the most recent advert by Kendall Jenner, it’s evident how much the world and its values have changed.

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