By Clark Collis
July 16, 2009 at 10:35 PM EDT

Pepsi has responded to yesterday’s appearance on the internet of footage of Michael Jackson being burned while filming an ad for the soft drink in 1984. Contacted by EW about the material, which was posted by US Weekly, Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley sent the following statement.

“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.”

Bradley also told EW that the company is not currently attempting to get the footage taken down and that Pepsi itself may well not own the rights to the material. “We don’t know where it came from,” she says. “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.”

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