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.
(Photo Source: YouTube screenshot)