Sky Television is pulling the first episode of its controversial new comedy show ‘Urban Myths’. The episode, titled ‘Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon’ features an unflattering portrayal of pop singer Michael Jackson by actor Joseph Fiennes.
‘Urban Myths’ is a brand new show from Sky that is due to air on January 19 on Sky Arts. The programme centres around a series of dramatisations of celebrity myths and legends, and features a number of top British actors including Brian Cox, Rupert Grint, Iwan Rheon and David Threlfall.
The show found itself at the centre of a media storm last week when it was revealed that actor Joseph Fiennes would be portraying Michael Jackson. A trailer was released featuring Fiennes in heavy make-up to replicate the ‘Thriller’ singers unique appearance. Following accusations of white-washing, ‘Urban Myths’ director Ben Palmer initially defended the decision to use a white actor to play Jackson, stating: “We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that. He’s given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance.”
“It’s a really lovely, sweet film. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react once they’ve actually seen it.”
It has now been revealed that the ‘Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon’ episode will not be aired by Sky, following complaints from Jackson’s daughter Paris and nephew Taj. In a series of tweets, Paris Jackson stated: “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.”
She continued: “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” “where is the respect? they worked through blood sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. shameful portrayal.”
The episode was also set to star Brian Cox as Marlon Brando and Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor. Its plot centred around the urban myth that Jackson, Brando and Taylor once embarked on a cross state road trip together after fleeing New York City following the events of 9/11.