The AP reports that the episode of the TV anthology show Urban Myths featuring white British actor Joseph Fiennes playing a latter-day Michael Jackson will not air after all. The outrage-inducing and fairly disturbing trailer for the show has been removed from YouTube.
A spokesperson for Sky Arts, the producers of the series, clarified that the show was supposed to be “a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Still, following protestations from members of Jackson’s family, they decided to pull the half-hour episode with the “[full] support” of Joseph Fiennes. (In an interview last year, Fiennes said that he believed race should not be deemed an issue with respect to the episode, saying “He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”)
In a series of tweets, Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson’s daughter, expressed her unequivocal disdain for the episode of the show, entitled “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon.” (It dealt with a road trip Jackson may or may not have taken with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, who was to be played by Brian Cox.) Among other things, Paris Jackson deemed it “insulting” and said that it made her “want to vomit.”