Media Ethics Lesson: Michael Jackson

I have really tried to avoid talking about Michael Jackson for the last three weeks, mostly because I am just sick of Joe Jackson's smugness, LaToya Jackson's conspiracy theories, Debbie Rowe swearing and fighting to get custody of "her" kids. Up until this point, I just wanted to ignore the madness and remember MJ for all the good he did bring to the world.

But then this Pepsi commercial came out of nowhere.

So after 25 years, someone just decided to release the never-before-seen footage of Michael's hair being set ablaze in the now infamous pyrotechnic accident on the set for the commercial. The accident caused him second and third degree burns, as well as an entry path to his painkiller addition.

My first question: why show this now? Okay, maybe Pepsi and Michael had an agreement to not ever show the footage while he was still alive to protect his image. But what is the point of putting it out immediately after his death? I mean, really.

Second question: why does the media insist on showing the images of MJ dancing down the stairs with his head burning from the back angle over and over again? I got on the train this morning and picked up the newspaper with pictures of his burnt scalp on the front page. To top off this madness, Larry King has shown the video multiple times in the last couple of days on his show.

Pepsi released a statement today, claiming they had nothing to do with the footage release.

Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley spoke with Entertainment Weekly earlier on Thursday, July 17th, and gave them what Pepsi has to say about this. "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."

My point exactly...

So, I ask you. Is it appropriate to make this video available now, and is it right for the media to excessively show the video?



Post a Comment

<< Home