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Season 10 contestant James Durbin recently made a comment in poor taste referring to Michael Jackson's brush with fire on the set of a 1984 Pepsi commercial, offending the King of Pop's family.
On Wednesday night (March 30), Durbin was set to cover Elton John's 'Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting).' Shortly after gracing the stage in front of a wall of shooting flames on the reality singing competition, Durbin spoke with host Ryan Seacrest and made the offhanded wisecrack. "I have a lot of hairspray in my hair to keep it from jumping around -- so much so, the one thing I was worried about was having a 'Pepsi moment," he said.
A rep for the Jackson family was quick to respond, attacking the contestant for making such an insensitive remark. "We were shocked to see this. It's nothing to make light of and everybody should be focusing on who was responsible for Michael's death," they said in a statement. Joe Jackson was reportedly upset that the comment was not edited out before the show aired on the West Coast.
Durbin later referenced the incident on his Twitter page, explaining that he didn't intend to defame the deceased pop star. "For anyone talkin..I said pepsi NOT MJ! I have no disrespect for Michael. I grew up singing his art. I guess youll take it how you want it...," he wrote. "Talkin about MJs passing is too soon. Making a reference to an incident 25 years ago..not too soon. The stab was at pepsi people [sic]."
The Twitter post has since been deleted.