Halloween pizza ads upset Everest conqueror's family
A Halloween pizza promotion depicting Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary dancing in a graveyard has upset his family, news reports said Monday.
The animated commercial, by the New Zealand company Hell Pizza, shows a skeletal Sir Ed, flanked by Australian actor Heath Ledger and Britain's Queen Mother, emerging from graves to dance to Michael Jackson's song Thriller, dpa reported.
Sir Ed and Heath Ledger died in January and the Queen Mother in 2002.
Sir Ed's son, Peter Hillary, dubbed the commercial, which Hell Pizza posted on the Internet two days before Halloween, "grotesque."
Noting that his father had died only 10 months ago, he told the Dominion Post: "It is early days and it's still pretty raw. It's extremely poor taste, really."
Hillary, the first man with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay to reach the top of the world's highest mountain in 1953, was revered as a national hero in New Zealand.
He was the only living person to be depicted on a bank note in the country, and New Zealand Post this week is issuing a range of postage stamps featuring him and his exploits.