Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Joseph Fiennes’ Michael Jackson impression won’t air

(Photo:  Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
(Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Sky Arts has finally realized that it was a bad idea to have Joseph Fiennes play Michael Jackson in their comedy anthology Urban Myths. Earlier this week, a trailer unveiled the first look at Fiennes in character, prompting another round of criticism and cries of ”Oh god, why?” Now the channel has announced that his episode of the series will not go to air.

Sky followed up by adding that the change of course was prompted by the “concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family.” Indeed, both Jackson’s daughter Paris and his nephew Taj denounced the casting on Twitter. Paris said she was “incredibly offended” by it. Taj wrote: “No words could express the blatant disrespect.”

@TheMJCast 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.

— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, 2017

@TheMJCast 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

— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, 2017

@TheMJCast where is the respect? they worked through blood sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. shameful portrayal

— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, 2017

Urban Myths dramatizes fabled stories about notable historical figures. The now-pulled episode was set to tell the tale of Jackson’s purported road trip with Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) following 9/11. Other installments feature Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan and Iwan Rheon—a.k.a. Game Of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton—as Adolf Hitler


Last February—after news of the project initially spread—Fiennes said that he was “shocked” that he was approached for the role. According to Sky, the actor “fully supports” the decision to scrap his performance.

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