Sky Arts have decided not to broadcast its controversial episode of Urban Myths about Michael Jackson following criticism from his daughter Paris.
In the programme, a trailer for which was released this week, the pop icon is played by white actor Joseph Fiennes.
Jackson’s daughter, Paris, has expressed how “incredibly offended” she was by her father’s portrayal.
Fiennes stars as Jackson in the programme, alongside Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando, which documents a series of “true … ish” stories including one in which the three stars supposedly took a cross-country road trip together after the 9/11 terror attacks.
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Replying to a tweet from Michael Jackson podcast @TheMJCast, which asked how she felt about the series, Paris said:
“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.
“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.”
After Paris hit out, Sky released a statement to the BBC announcing that the episode which features the music icon had been pulled following the criticism from the singer’s family.
The statement was also put out on their Twitter page, it read:
“We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, a 30min episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series.
“This decision was taken 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 offence.
“Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
The stories had been described as “mischievous and deliberately ambiguous” by Sky Arts on its website. However, Shakespeare in Love star Fiennes anticipated the backlash would be immediate when he signed on to play Jackson last year, telling The Hollywood Reporter he understood why people were “up in arms” about his casting.
In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson who died in 2009 aged 50, rejected the idea of a white actor portraying him.