michael jackson urban myths
Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson. (Photo: "Urban Myths")

‘Urban Myths’ Michael Jackson Episode Cancelled Following Controversy

When Sky Arts released the first trailer for its Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of Comedies episode featuring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson, fans of the King of Pop were quick to slam the British television network for its “culturally insensitive” portrayal of the late pop star.

A petition was drawn to boycott the episode, which sees Fiennes playing Jackson on a road trip with Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox), all of whom are deceased. It currently has over 20,000 signatures.


The “Black or White” singer’s daughter, Paris Jackson, also spoke out on the “shameful” portrayal.

“I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well,” the 18-year-old tweeted. “It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother [Elizabeth Taylor] as well.”

Following the backlash, Sky Arts decided to cancel the controversial 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,” Sky Arts said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We set out to take a lighthearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”

Good riddance.