Joseph Fiennes portrayal of Michael Jackson has been cancelled

Joseph Fiennes as Michael JacksonAmid massive outrage from all corners of social media, the upcoming Urban Myths episode about Michael Jackson has officially been cancelled.

“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 Arts said in a statement.

Earlier this week, shocking photos of actor Joseph Fiennes as the late King of Pop (pictured left) hit the web, and needless to say, Michael’s family was not pleased.

“Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect,” the Thriller singer’s nephew Taj tweeted on Wednesday (Jan. 11) of the then-upcoming episode.

Michael’s daughter, Paris, also tweeted that she was “incredibly offended” by the show, and that it made her “want to vomit.”

Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, originally set to air on Jan. 19, reportedly depicts Michael’s much-talked-about road trip from New York City to Los Angeles with close friends Elizabeth Taylor (played by Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (played by Brian Cox) post-9/11.

Sky Arts said they set out to “take a lighthearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense.”

Along with his family, the pop icon’s fans were equally vocal about their distaste for Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, with a petition to boycott the episode collecting more than 20,000 signatures.

This isn’t the first time the project has drawn controversy. When the news broke last January that Joseph would play the famed artist, fans and critics were quick to question why Sky Arts would cast a white actor in the role.

Forbes film critic Scott Mendelsohn famously joked about the creative choice, tweeting, “Congratulations to noted African-American actor Joseph Fiennes on being cast as Michael Jackson…”

Joseph himself admitted to The Hollywood Reporter last year that he expected fans to be upset.

“The decision with the casting and the producers—I wrangled with it, I was confused and shocked at what might come my way,” the Shakespeare in Love actor said. “And I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael’s fans and to Michael’s family. It doesn’t negate who he was.”

In their statement, Sky Arts made sure to note that Joseph “fully supports” the decision. ~Shelby Morton

What do you think — was it the right choice to cancel the episode? Or are you disappointed that it won’t air? Sound off below!

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Comments & Discussion

  1. NightCrawler • January 13, 2017 @ 4:18 PM

    That face!!!!! Nightmarish.

  2. Stella • January 13, 2017 @ 4:24 PM

    His nose is so not right

  3. Snepts • January 14, 2017 @ 8:59 AM

    I was really looking forward to this. Perhaps it will be released on dvd…

  4. silvio bentivoglio • January 14, 2017 @ 11:23 AM

    who cares

  5. silvio bentivoglio • January 14, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

    they should of went threw with it, then it would show how Michael was a side show

  6. Snepts • January 15, 2017 @ 6:52 AM

    Get arrested for molesting kids and it’s business as usual; mock someone’s bad plastic surgery and everyone gets offended…

  7. valerie • January 15, 2017 @ 6:39 PM

    Why would this have been a bad thing??? It was probably a factual account What is there to hide?

  8. Grindal • January 17, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

    He looks like a clown. That’s why the family is angry. Michael Jackson was a good looking guy, not a clown.

  9. Grindal • January 17, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

    And he may have been arrested Snepts but he was never convicted. Keep that in mind when a little kid points a finger at you because his parents know you have a lot of money and they think it should belong to them.

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