The Michael Jackson TV comedy starring a white actor is being killed after outrage

Joseph Fiennes Michael Jackson Urban Myths YouTube Sky Arts finalYouTube/Sky ArtsJoseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in ‘Urban Myths.’

Following the first trailer showing white British actor Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson in an upcoming comedy TV series, “Urban Myths,” the UK network behind the show, Sky Arts, has announced that it will no longer air the episode.

The decision came following concerns voiced by Jackson’s immediate family.

Sky Arts tweeted the following on Friday:

News that Fiennes was cast as the King of Pop was revealed last January for a project titled “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” which delved into the rumoured story that Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando got in a car after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and fled New York City to go on a road trip. 

“Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon” was to be part of an episode in the “Urban Myths” series, which will also feature “true…ish” stories like Cary Grant’s alleged love of LSD, and others featuring Hitler, novelist Samuel Beckett, and Bob Dylan.

Though negative reaction to Fiennes playing the role has been going on for a year now, it seems the latest slams on the episode from Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson and Jackson’s daughter Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson led to the project being scrapped.

Taj Jackson tweeted:

Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson tweeted:

Sky Arts notes in its tweets that Fiennes fully supports the decision, but last year he did defend playing Jackson.

“I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them,” Fiennes said. “If it promotes stereotyping, then it’s wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn’t do that.”

He added: “This is territory that is sensitive. One must determine if this portrayal is one that is going to be positive entertainment, and one that will not bring about division and put anyone’s noses out of joint, so I went with the mind that this was a positive, lighthearted comedy.”

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