Michael Jackson gun meme

Michael Jackson Lowering a Gun

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Updated Apr 25, 2023 at 01:44PM EDT by Owen.

Added Apr 25, 2023 at 12:57PM EDT by Owen.

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About

Michael Jackson Lowering a Gun, also known as Michael Jackson Pointing a Gun Down, refers to a viral video clip of a soldier pointing a gun at Michael Jackson on stage who stares at him and then gently puts his fingers on the gun and lowers it. The video was taken in mid-1997 in Copenhagen, Denmark during Jackson's HIStory World Tour. The song he was performing was "Earth Song" and the "lowering the gun" gesture was symbolic of an end to war. The clip became a notable meme and reaction video in early 2023 on Twitter.

Origin

On August 14th, 1997, Michael Jackson performed in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of his HIStory World Tour.[1] The concert was broadcasted on television, including the Singaporean TV channel Channel 5, also known as Mediacorp 5.[2] In August 2020, multiple, remastered clips from Channel 5's broadcast of the Copenhagen show were posted to YouTube by YouTuber ZahidMJ, including one YouTube[3] video uploaded on August 17th that was Jackson's performance of the song "Earth Song," earning roughly 227,500 views and 6,100 likes in three years. At the video's 7:56-minute mark, an actor playing a soldier pointed a gun at Jackson who looked at him and then gently lowered the gun with his hand (shown below).



About three years later, on December 23rd, 2022, TikToker[10] @longliveroyalty posted the clip of Jackson lowerig the gun, gaining roughly 11.3 million plays and 1.8 million likes in four months. A few weeks later, on January 14th, 2023, Twitter[3] user @DrewSkywalker used the video in a quote retweet as a way to humorously tell the other Twitter user to calm down about his take, gaining just over 80 likes in three months. However, the video itself gained over 10.2 million views in the same time period. This was because on March 4th, 2023, Twitter[4] user @aaroncabrera_ used the video in his own tweet, tagging NBA player Ja Morant in reference to his then-recent "showing a gun on Instagram Live" controversy.[5] @aaroncabrera_'s tweet gained roughly 181,900 likes in one month (shown below).


Spread

Directly following @aaroncabrera_'s usage, the video was used by more meme creators in viral tweets, such as by Twitter[6] user @Timstianity on March 4th, 2023, who captioned it, "me pulling up to Ukraine to finally stop the war," in reference to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. The tweet gained roughly 17,200 likes in one month (shown below). The video was also used by Instagram[7] user @gza_geniuz on March 4th, who received roughly 2,800 likes in one month.


Later in the month, on March 27th, 2023, the video was posted by the Twitter[8] account @allreactionvids which is a gimmick account that posts videos for others to use as reactions. Via the tweet, the video gained roughly 1.1 million views and 8,800 likes in one month. Similarly to @DrewSkywalker's video,[3] @allreactionvids' was also used by various Twitter users. For instance, on March 27th, Twitter[9] user @INDIEWASHERE paired the video with a caption about seasonal depression, gaining roughly 7,600 likes in one month (shown below).


Memetic usage of the video persisted in April 2023 on Twitter.[11]

Various Examples





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