Companies warn about ‘Like Mike’ electrocution scene

The Associated Press
Saturday June 29, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Electricity companies have issued a warning about the upcoming movie “Like Mike” because the plot involves a pair of sneakers a boy retrieves from a power line. 

The family comedy stars rapper Lil’ Bow Wow as a teenager who gains magical basketball-playing abilities after lightning strikes him while he is unsnagging the shoes. 

Instead of constricting his muscles, searing his flesh, burning his lungs and stopping his heart, the extreme electrical current gives the boy the ability to compete in the NBA. 

“We’re worried that kids are going to see this and get electrocuted,” said Jason Alderman, spokesman for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. “The reality is if you touch a power line like that you’ll be seriously injured at best, and at worst die.” 

Southern California Edison and Progress Energy Inc. have also issued warnings about the movie. 

Alderman said PG&E has asked the film’s studio, 20th Century Fox, to either change the scene or add a disclaimer, but most of the thousands of prints for the July 3 debut are already completed and shipped. 

“The scene is clearly not meant to be real or present behavior to be emulated by youngsters,” said Fox spokeswoman Flo Grace. “The film in no way advocates taking dangerous risks of any kind, including touching power lines.”