Michael Jackson episode pulled after backlash over white actor

Posted at 9:06 AM, Jan 13, 2017

After an uproar over the portrayal of Michael Jackson in a British TV production, Sky Arts announced it would not broadcast the episode featuring Joseph Fiennes as the late superstar.

The show "Urban Myths" had cast Fiennes, who is white, as Michael Jackson, leaving fans befuddled and incensed. And the release of the trailer on Wednesday did little to assuage that furor.

When asked her thoughts about the portrayal of her father, Paris Jackson tweeted that she was "so incredibly offended by it, as I'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit."

Sky Arts said it decided to pull the episode "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 & never intended to cause any offence," Sky Arts tweeted.

"Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision."

The episode was part of the network's "Urban Myths" series and centered around a fabled story in which Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, played by Stockard Channing, and Marlon Brando, played by Brian Cox, supposedly took a cross-country road trip together after 9/11. Sky Arts called the project a series of "tru ... ish" stories.

Paris Jackson said she also took offense at the portrayal of Taylor, a good friend of her father's and her godmother.

"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," Jackson tweeted.

"Where is the respect?" she asked. "They worked through blood sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. Shameful portrayal."