'Urban Myths' episode with Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson axed

Sky Arts, the U.K. broadcaster behind the series Urban Myths, will not air the episode "Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon" with Joseph Fiennes after backlash from the family of Michael Jackson.

The first trailer for the project was released Wednesday, and was met with swift blowback criticizing the series' choice of a white actor playing the African-American singer.

On Thursday, Jackson's daughter, Paris, expressed her strong opposition to the project on Twitter.

"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," she wrote.

Michael Jackson's nephew, Taj Jackson, also protested Fiennes' casting on Twitter.

"Unfortunately, this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect."

In a tweet, the broadcaster said it has taken the decision not to air the episode "in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family." It says Fiennes supports the decision.

Urban Myths  takes "a slightly tongue in cheek, mischievous – and deliberately ambiguous – look at what might have happened" in famous stories of celebrity folklore. The episode titled "Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon," centers on a supposed road trip Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando took while fleeing post-9/11 New York to Boston in a rental car together, "reflecting on their lives, loves, careers and egos as they go."

(© 2017 USA TODAY)


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