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The episode of British TV series “Urban Myths” featuring Michael Jackson played by white actor Joseph Fiennes will never see the light of day.

British broadcaster Sky Arts has cancelled the episode of the series after a trailer showing white actor Joseph Fiennes playing the King of Pop sparked outrage, including a rebuke from Jackson’s daughter Paris.

The episode told the story of how Jackson took a road trip from New York to Los Angeles with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Sky released a statement confirming they would not broadcast the episode after members of the Jackson family expressed their disgust over the late musician’s portrayal.

“We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, a half-hour episode from the Sky Arts ‘Urban Myths’ series, in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family,” the statement said.

“We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense.

“Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”

After a trailer teasing the show’s January 20 premiere was released earlier this week showing Fiennes in heavy white makeup, Paris Jackson took to Twitter in anger, saying the portrayal was “insulting” and that it made her “want to vomit.”

“It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother, Liz, as well,” the 18-year-old tweeted.

Jackson’s nephew, Taj Jackson, also tweeted his disappointment in the representation of his uncle.

“No words could express the blatant disrespect,” he said.

The trailer for the entire series has also been pulled from Sky Art’s YouTube account.


A British TV network has offered the first glimpse of actor Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson in an upcoming comedy series.

Sky Arts has released a trailer for its upcoming “Urban Myths” series, which it says looks at “remarkable stories from well-known historical, artistic and cultural figures, which may or may not have happened in real life.”

Fiennes is shown in the preview wearing Jackson’s signature hat while seated in a car driven by Elizabeth Taylor, who is played by Stockard Channing. The network says one episode will detail a supposed road trip taken by Jackson, Taylor and Marlon Brando in 2001.

The casting of Fiennes, who is white, as Jackson was criticized when it was announced. Fiennes defended himself to The Associated Press last year, saying the project doesn’t promote stereotyping.

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(Photo Source: YouTube screenshot)

15 thoughts on “UPDATE: MJ Episode Cancelled After Backlash

  1. leadjustone on said:

    AAW nailed it! Much as it may hurt some to admit it, obviously MJ as well as others in his family had/have a problem with the looks they were born with. My granddaughter has Vitiligo, and she has been treated by a Dermatologist in order to restore her God given, beautiful brown pigment. As much money as MJ had, he could certainly have done the same. Instead, he chose to bleach his skin to a color not found in the human family. Truth be told, the white actor actually had more color in his face than MJ did. I also agree with mr know it all. It is hypocritical for everyone to be okay with blacks playing the role of whites in Hamilton, but be indignant when the roles are reversed. As long as it is done in good taste, there should be no such thing as cultural appropriation in the arts.

  2. Mrknowitall on said:

    Dear racist black people: stop having negro actors playing parts of European Americans on stage in the show Hamilton, because you are racist hypocrites. This is another example of the black racist double standard and black privlege.

  3. Whoever thought this was originally going to be a good idea had to have been drinking. Why aren’t these people just allowed to rest in peace without these vultures continuing to try and make money off of their legacies.

  4. I dont see why people have problems with a white person playing Michael Jackson he wanted to look white had mostly white people around him. Had a white mans kids who are filthy rich so why not have a white boy play him.

  5. Tiffany on said:

    I wish people would just leave Michael alone. He has been gone for almost 8 years and some people still want to bother him. Get a life and let Michael rest in peace.

    • I agree. Enuf was done to him while he was alive and too many people lied on him and continue to lie on him or talk about issue on Michael that they clearly do not know what they are talking about.

  6. African American Woman on said:

    Soooo….Michael Jackson got himself bleached white, got his nose fixed to look white, got stright white people hair transplants and got his white baby mother and a white man’s sperm to create his children…and it’s a problem that a white man is playing the role? Don’t get me wrong…Michael Jackson is the GREATEST entertainer that ever was and ever will be. I cried for days after he died, but face it, he didn’t exactly appreciate his blackness…don’t tell me about no vitaligo because people with it don’t turn evenly white-and explain Latoya…some things are really just so unimportant in the bigger scope of things-this is one example.

    • As someone who has seen Mr. Jackson up close in 2005, Michael did have vitiligo and he used makeup to even out his skin (If you seen his arms, the patches were on there. Do not judge pictures. Picture are airbushed). Also, I have a cousin who had this skin disorder. AND, Michael vitaligo is in his death REPORT. It does not matter what YOU think AAW, Michael had the disorder. And this movie look stupid. Liz skin was dark because she had tans so why not get person of color to play her.

    • Latoya is not as light as MJ and she wears MAKEUP. Look at her face and then her body when she is on tv (you can judge pictures which are airbrused). Her face is lighter.

      • African American Woman on said:

        I love Michael, this article isn’t about how much Michael was loved…its about or people having a problem with a white man playing the role…FYI…you can’t speak either because you disnt know him or his family…did vitiligo change his nose and chin shape? Did it cause him to magically grow long black straight hair? Did it cause his kids to be white? Let’s see what you have to say about that since you know everything else…

      • First of all, do not try to talk like you know who I know. And FYI, YES I MET Michael Jackson IN PERSON in 2005. I saw with my own eyes he had vitiligo (and it was DOCUMENTED in his AUTOPSY as well. I think MT EYES and the DOCTOR who examine him KNOWS unlike someone who NEVER met him. As for his hair, his kids, nose, that was his choice just like other blacks get surgery on their nose, marry white folks, get perms, etc. He had perm but later wore hair pieces and wigs in the late 2000’s. Does that answer your question. Stop getting an attitude when someone is trying to correct something you do not know.

      • Also, I know what the topic was about but I still responded to parts of your comment. As for this issue, I do not like it as well. They could have got a light skinned black person to do it. I can understand those people and fans who are upset which is their RIGHT to dislike it if they choose just like if their are people who claim not to care about it can do so as well; but no one is going to tell those who do not like it what to do. And what issues is important to one may not be to another. All blacks do not think alike.

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