Variety reports that the European pay-TV company, Sky, has abandoned their plans to air a certain episode of Urban Myths.
The story behind the original episode was supposed to be a lighthearted comedy that followed icons Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and Michael Jackson as they drive back to the West Coast shortly after 9/11. This may sound odd, and undoubtedly the plot contributed to Sky TV’s decision to pull the episode.
However the decision to axe the episode was only made today, three days after the footage of Joseph Fiennes’ portrayal as Michael Jackson (which you can watch below).
Fiennes’ casting has drawn negative attention to the project, especially from Jackson’s own family. His daughter, Paris Jackson, insists that his portrayal is “shameful,” and Tweeted in response to the trailer:
@TheMJCast i'm so incredibly offended by it, as i'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.
— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, 2017
Even Michael Jackson’s nephew, Taj Jackson, has voiced his disapproval, saying, “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
Sky TV’s company spokesperson addressed the family’s concern in an official statement: “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. We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”