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Show that cast white actor as Michael Jackson pulled by Sky

UK broadcaster pulls Michael Jackson programme after family complaints

13 January 2017, 6:16pm
Joseph Fiennes was cast as Michael Jackson
Joseph Fiennes was cast as Michael Jackson
UK broadcaster Sky has pulled the airing of an episode of their satirical series Urban Myths after Michael Jackson’s children said they were sickened and offended by the portrayal of their father, played by white actor Joseph Fiennes.

Sky released a statement on Friday saying they had pulled one episode after concerns were raised by Jackson’s daughter Paris. The broadcaster said it "never intended to cause any offence".

The stories had been described as "slightly tongue-in-cheek, mischievous and deliberately ambiguous" by Sky Arts on its website.

The episode is a tongue-in-cheek dramatisation of a rumoured road trip taken by Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in 2001, after 9/11.

The casting of a white actor as Jackson had already proved contentious, prompting accusations of whitewashing, though many pointed out that the singer’s skin had been considerably lighter by this point and he had undergone cosmetic surgery.

However, Jackson’s children were enraged by what they saw as the caricaturing of their father and his friend Taylor.

Jackson's daughter Paris said on Twitter that trailer footage from the episode made her "want to vomit".

 “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,” his daughter said.

DealToday