Only This Is Us can save Crock-Pot's reputation.
According to PEOPLE, the backlash after the episode went so far as to causing the company's stock to plummet, leading to a PR nightmare.
“It was unfortunate,” Milo Ventimiglia, whose beloved character Jack Pearson perished as a result of the fire, told PEOPLE. “We’re aware of the impact and we hope to never create pain or upset.”
To fix the mess caused by the shocking twist, Ventimiglia and series creator Dan Fogelman teamed up for the Super Bowl ad that introduced the hashtag, "Crock-Pot Is Innocent."
“Everything that we had written about that episode was slow cooker,” Ventimiglia said. “It’s always been slow cooker. It always will be a slow cooker. It’s unfortunate the assimilation to a well known, well-loved and even by me, personally owned product by the community online.”
“I think regardless of any kind of fault of anyone’s own, we were aware of the impact. Things happen. But [we were] in a position to turn the car in a different direction,” he continued.
In the ad, Ventimiglia tells the camera that the Super Bowl is a great time to gather with friends and family, but it’s not as easy as it used to be to find common ground, given the current political climate.
The actor then suggests that viewers “take a deep breath and find the ability to forgive, and remind ourselves, there’s no difference so great that we can’t overcome it.” And then he ladles some chili out of a Crock-Pot.
Ventimiglia revealed the ad was not hard to produce.
“It’s easy for us to do,” he said. “It’s me learning a handful of lines, which I do on a daily basis, and it’s Fogelman picking up some footage of me doing that. If it helps release a little bit of pressure from as beloved a company as Crock-Pot, then, of course, it’s always worth it.”
Following the Jan. 23 episode, Crock-Pot issued a statement in defense of its slow-cookers. Hopefully the words from Jack Pearson himself will help ease fans' minds and forgive the longstanding appliance.