(Spoiler alert! If you’re not up to date on the show This is Us, you might not want to keep reading.)
If you’re a fan of the popular NBC drama This is Us, then you’ve known for awhile that details on how beloved patriarch Jack dies were coming any day now.
Last week, we finally got some details on how it happens: In the last scene of the show, Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia) is cleaning the kitchen and reaches over to turn off a Crock-Pot slow cooker that was given to the family by some neighbors who warned that the switch was a bit tricky. As Jack is heading to bed, the appliance sparks and then ignites the kitchen and the rest of the house. A battery-less smoke detector fails to alert Jack of the fire.
The scene caused an instant social media firestorm and a public relations nightmare for Crock-Pot, with many angry fans posting that they’re throwing out their Crock-Pots.
“I get married in less than two months and suddenly I feel the need to remove the Crock-Pot from the registry,” Lauren Luna tweeted. “WE. DON’T. NEED. IT. #ThisIsUs.”
“#ThisIsUs just destroyed the whole crock pot [sic] industry!” tweeted Brandon Witcher.
The social media lashing was so strong that Crock-Pot, which didn’t previously have a Twitter account, created one to address concerns. The company also issued a statement on the safety of its devices, noting that nothing like this has ever happened in real life.
“For nearly 50 years, with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible,” according to the statement. “Our hope is that the team at NBC’s This Is Us will help us in spreading factual information regarding our product’s safety. While we know their primary mission is to entertain — something they have continued to excel in — we also feel they have a responsibility to inform.”
Some even wondered if Crock-Pot could actually sue NBC for portraying the device as unsafe, prompting NBC News to post an article about whether Crock-Pot has a legal case. Cooler heads prevailed (somewhat) when Dan Fogelman, creator of the hit drama, reminded fans of the show that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV.
“Taking a moment to remind everyone that it was a 20-year-old fictional crockpot with an already funky switch?” Fogelman tweeted. “Let’s not lump all those lovely hardworking crockpots together.”
We’re still waiting on an official statement from NBC. In the meantime, Stephen Colbert attempted to cool things down with some good humor during a recent monologue on The Late Show.
“… throwing it out the window can give someone a pretty serious head injury,” Colbert said. “Of course, the good people at Crock-Pot rushed into Crisis Mode, which is right next to Simmer.”