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Joseph Fiennes’s Michael Jackson Episode Has Been Pulled From The Air

The network canceled the episode following backlash from Jackson’s family

Following backlash from Michael Jackson's fans and family, U.K. TV channel Sky Arts has pulled an upcoming episode of its show Urban Myths that starred Joseph Fiennes as the late singer.

The episode fictionalized an account of Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando taking a road trip together immediately after 9/11. Criticism of Fiennes's casting arose as soon as the news broke that he would be playing Jackson, but the publication of the series' trailer inspired a stronger reaction from Jackson's daughter Paris and his nephew Taj.

On Twitter, Paris said that she was "incredibly offended" by Fiennes's portrayal of her father. Taj called the casting "blatant disrespect."

In response, the channel pulled the episode.

“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," a spokesperson for Sky said. "We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”