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Sky pulls the plug on Michael Jackson show following complaint by daughter Paris

Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
January 13, 2017
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Sky has announced it will no longer be showing a TV programme about Michael Jackson after the singer's daughter Paris said she was "incredibly offended" by its portrayal of her father. The episode – part of an upcoming series called Urban Myths – had been due to air on Sky Arts, but the broadcaster has now decided to pull the 30-minute segment, which featured Joseph Fiennes as the iconic singer.

"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," Sky said in a statement.


Sky has decided not to air the controversial show following a complaint by Paris Jackson

"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 episode had shown Michael with his good friend Elizabeth Taylor and actor Marlon Brando driving to LA from New York in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Paris, who lost her father in 2009, on Thursday tweeted about the programme, saying: "I'm so incredibly offended by it, as I am sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.

fiennes 1a

Joseph Fiennes was cast as the late king of pop, Michael Jackson

"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 trailer for the upcoming Urban Myths series was released on Tuesday, giving fans their first look at Joseph playing the pop icon – and it certainly caused a stir, with some viewers accusing the show of "whitewashing".

Joseph himself has previously defended the casting decision, saying that Michael's skin colour "probably [became] closer to my colour than his original colour." He added: "I'm a white, middle-class guy from London… I am as shocked as you may be."

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