Iowa to Michael Jackson: No Butter Sculpture

By Sadie Bass

Jul 17, 2009 11:27am

ABC's Anna Maciaszek reports from Chicago: After the untimely death of the “King of Pop,” fans all around the world sought to pay tribute to the late star. From his childhood home in Gary, Indiana to the Staples center in Los Angeles, it seemed as if you couldn’t pass a street corner without hearing fans blasting “Thriller,” or seeing a makeshift memorial of flowers, stuffed animals and letters addressed to Michael Jackson. Even the Iowa State Fair tried to mark the passing.  Earlier this month, officials announced they would include a life sized butter sculpture of Jackson next to their famous “butter cow.”  Naturally, controversy soon followed when Iowans and others voiced their protest.  Even PETA got into the discussion and suggested that Jackson be made out of Earth Balance, a non-dairy spread.   Because of Jackson’s controversial past, many felt that a butter sculpture honoring him at the fair was undeserved.  Officials said they were trying to honor Jackson’s history with the fair, not his “character.”   The Jackson five performed at the fair back in 1971. The idea went from a life sized statue of Jackson down to just a part of a Neil Armstrong carving commemorating the 40th anniversary of the moonwalk.  But even that wasn’t enough, and fair officials decided to let the public decide.  An online poll was created on the Iowa State Fair website that ran from July 9th until 3 pm yesterday.  The poll asked voters for their email and zip code to separate fair-goers from others. This morning, the Iowa State Fair released the results from over one hundred thousand votes.  Neil Armstrong will be doing the moon walk alone as over 65% of voters chose to not include Jackson.  Fair CEO Gary Slater said, “While we know some people will be disappointed, we believe the vote was the only way to let fairgoers voice their opinion in a meaningful way."  With all of the butter sculpture scrutiny now over Slater says, “…we are pleased to now move on with final preparations for all the events at the Fair.”

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus