Sky pulls episode starring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson after daughter Paris labels it offensive

The broadcaster's Urban Myths series caused controversy by casting the white British actor as the late King of Pop

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Sky will not air a controversial Michael Jackson-focused episode of it’s upcoming Urban Myths series, the broadcaster has confirmed.

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In an official statement released this morning, Sky said it had made the decision to pull the episode after Jackson’s daughter, Paris, expressed her concerns about it.

“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”, the statement said.

“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 road trip that Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brandon allegedly took in the wake of 9/11 – where the trio piled into a car and fled New York for Ohio via fast food joints – had been immortalised in an episode of Urban Myths, a collection of “true-ish” stories from the last century.

Sky Arts released the first trailer for the series, starring Joseph Fiennes as the late Michael Jackson, earlier this week. It hit the headlines almost instantly due to the controversy surrounding the decision to cast a white actor as the King of Pop.

The film in question co-stars Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

Other sketches in the series featuring Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, Ben Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aidan Gillen as Dr. Leary, David Threlfall as Samuel Beckett, Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon as Adolf Hitler and Rupert Grint as Hitler’s friend will air as scheduled.

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Urban Myths debuts on Sky Arts on 19 January