July 16th, 2009
05:42 PM ET

Newfound understanding for Jackson?

I saw the just released video of Michael Jackson’s 1984 accident on the set of his Pepsi commercial before I left work yesterday.  I had to leave early for a doctor’s appointment and when I got there, the waiting room was packed and the wait to see the doctor was a long one.  People were hanging out in the waiting room watching CNN on TV.

 As we were all sitting around the video of Jackson’s accident came on.  Since I had just seen it I knew what was coming, but I knew that this was the first time anyone else would be seeing it. As soon as Wolf Blitzer teased it the room became silent and anyone who wasn’t watching before was watching now.  The clip began and people literally gasped when the pyrotechnics went off at the wrong time and Michael, unaware that his hair had caught fire continued to dance. 

As soon as the clip ended people started talking- people who, until moments before, had been absolute strangers.  I was struck by how many people seemed to change their opinion of Michael Jackson’s drug use just by watching that clip.  One woman said to me, “You know, you kind of understand it now.”  It made me wonder, if people had seen this tape before Michael had died, would they have thought differently of him while he was alive?   

Tonight on Showbiz Tonight we are going to look at some of the disturbing, brand new questions that the release of this video has raised.  Be sure to tune in to Showbiz Tonight at 11pm Eastern and Pacific on HLN- Don’t miss it!


soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jane

    My thoughts are these: As famous as Michael has been, one would think that SOMEONE (Doctor, Psychologist, etc.) could have come forward to help this man with his drug and other issues.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rhonda

    I have never been a Michael Jackson fan but I have been glued to the tv since his death. It is too bad that he had to suffer in his life because people found a weak spot in him, Children, and used it to try to extort money. I have children sleep over and eat popcorn and watch tv in the bedroom. That doesn't make me a dirty child molester. I can understand his addiction now. Too bad we didn't know all this sooner so he could have enjoyed his life more. Greed for money is a very evil thing. I hope the truth comes out someday but it is too late for MJ to enjoy that. It is too bad that MJ had so many greedy sick people around him to feed his addiction instead of helping him to get out of it. Such greedy and selfish people!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Anna

    I had seen videos regarding the fire when I was a kid but nothing this drastic. It was painful to watch as I can only imagine the pain was worse. Would this make sense as to how his addiction began? Sure, but that would be too easy to state since all of this speculation has surfaced. I think if anyone made him sick it was the media! And to answer the question...No. It does not change how I think of him. Several people fail to remember that he was a person too. I feel the only minds that were changed after this video was released were of those who never liked him to begin with and never thought much of him. He is missed and I'm just any other working citizen, I can imagine his famous family misses their bigger than life son MORE! RIP Michael! LOVE to listen to his music still!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. marilyn

    The fire was horrible to watch. It would have caused horrible pain, just as he described. He says that started his addiction. If he would have not been burned, he would have still found the drugs later, for his lupus or another of his ailments. So i wouldn't think of him any differently. ( I know they said the video hasn't been seen before, but I really feel as if I have seen it in the past.) Anyway, I think of him with great sadness that he couldn't find his way back to a treatment center. He was very sick.

    July 20, 2009 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Laura

    I was 7 when michael released "dangerous" i thought michael jackson was god he filled my childhood with alot of joy! Michael i miss u!

    July 19, 2009 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. joy

    I always wanted to see a Michael Jackson concert and always dreamed of meeting the wonderful and talented person. But maybe I will meet him in heaven someday. But he really was blessed with a wonderful gift.

    July 19, 2009 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |

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