‘Urban Myths’ Michael Jackson Episode Canceled Amid Casting Controversy
The supposedly comedic miniseries Urban Myths has canceled its episode centering on Michael Jackson because of the outrage caused by casting Joseph Fiennes to play the King of Pop.
SKY ARTS CANCELS MICHAEL JACKSON EPISODE AFTER BACKLASH
The film was the story of a post-9/11 road trip with Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox). Sky Arts released a trailer for the series earlier this week, and the controversy grew after people saw Fiennes as Jackson. Both Taj and Paris Jackson shows their disgust at the portrayal.
“Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with,” writes Taj. “No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
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,” said Paris.
Thank you to the fans, you continue to fight for my Uncle Michael’s legacy. And thank you to the media, for covering the extreme backlash.
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 13, 2017
“I know my race, I just look in the mirror. I know I’m Black.”
-Michael Jackson, 2002 pic.twitter.com/blKPsoFHGP
— Alyssa (@joyfuljukebox) January 12, 2017
The episode was supposed to air Jan. 19, but since the trailer was released the project has been surrounded by nothing but bad press. A petition to boycott the show has received more than 20,000 signatures.
“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,” said Sky Arts officially. “We set out to take a lighthearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
Of his being cast, Fiennes has said he understood why people would be “up in arms” about his playing a black man with such a profound legacy. “The decision with the casting and the producers—I wrangled with it, I was confused and shocked at what might come my way,” the actor said. “And I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael’s fans and to Michael’s family. It doesn’t negate who he was.”