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‘Urban Myths’ Episode With Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson Cancelled After Jackson’s Family Voices Concerns

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After the family of Michael Jackson expressed distaste for an episode of Sky Art’s Urban Myths comedy series that cast Joseph Fiennes as Jackson, Sky has confirmed that they will pull the episode because of the “concerns expressed” by the Jackson family.

The project began receiving backlash in early 2016 for the controversial decision to cast Fiennes, a white actor, as the King of Pop; however, when a trailer showing Fiennes as the iconic singer, Jackson’s daughter Paris and his nephew, Taj Jackson, took to social media to voice their displeasure with the portrayal of Jackson, with Paris going so far as to say that it made her “want to vomit.”

In a statement on their website, Sky announced that they will not broadcast the episode.

“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 offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”


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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com