The Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson episode from the British series Urban Myths got cancelled following controversial reception of the promo, Sky Arts confirms.
On Friday, a spokesperson for Sky Arts has stated that they will not broadcast the 30-minute-episode from the Urban Myths series featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando”. The cause of the cancellation, Sky says, is “concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family”. The statement adds: “We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence”, mentioning that actor Joseph Fiennes, who played Jackson in the episode, “fully supports our decision”.
The promotional footage for the episode was released last week. Immediately, family members from the Jackson family reacted negatively to it. The first one to tweet her disgust was Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson. “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”.
Taj Jackson, Michael’s nephew tweeted: “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
Taj’s brother, T.J., told The Insider that it was “disgusting mockery with no taste” for a white man to play Michael Jackson. “He was proud to be a black man who suffered from the skin disease vitiligo.”
The Urban Myths episode, called Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, focused on a road trip the three have made New York to California following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The part of Elizabeth Taylor is played by Stockard Channing, while the role of Marlon Brando went to Brian Cox.
Several other famous people are featured in the comedy series, such as Cary Grant’s, Adolf Hitler, Samuel Beckett and Bob Dylan.