The featuring Michael Jackson TV movie, featuring white actor Joseph Fiennes playing the role of the pop icon, has been canceled. British network Sky Arts took the decision after Fiennes' portrayal of the late singer offended many people, including his daughter Paris Jackson. The made-for-TV episode for the upcoming anthology series created an uproar as soon as MJ fans learned about the casting.
Paris saw the trailer for the show and said she was "incredibly offended" by it. The pop icon's 18-year-old daughter even said the trailer made her "want to vomit." She said she was not the only person to be offended by the trailer, which was released on Tuesday. According to her, there must be many others who were offended by it.
"I know my race, I just look in the mirror. I know I'm Black."-Michael Jackson, 2002 pic.twitter.com/blKPsoFHGP
— Alyssa (@joyfuljukebox) January 12, 2017
The Michael Jackson TV movie is about a road trip that the late singer took with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. It was on the day the 9/11 attack took place. The special half-hour episode is for the TV series Urban Myths, where Stockard Channing is playing the role of Paris' godmother Liz Taylor. The episode was scheduled to air on January 19.
"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."
Paris believed it was a "shameful portrayal" people who worked through blood, sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies." She was right about other people being offended by the casting; many Michael Jackson fans were deeply offended by the casting.
Sky Arts initially defended its decision to cast Fiennes in the name of "creative freedom."
@SkyArts 1/4 We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, a 30min episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series.
— Sky Arts (@SkyArts) January 13, 2017
Nevertheless, the Michael Jackson TV movie trailer created enough uproar about the casting to force the production company to pull the show off the air. Sky Arts posted on social media that it had decided not to broadcast the episode. Even though numerous fans were also offended by the casting, the British production company said it took the decision because Michael Jackson's immediate family felt offended. The tweet even confirmed that Fiennes fully supported the company's decision not to broadcast the episode.
"This decision was taken in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family. We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events & never intended to cause any offense."
The casting for the Michael Jackson TV movie is "frightening," according to the Toronto Star. Columnist Vinay Menon wondered if the makeup artist for the show was blind. If Fiennes looks Like MJ, Kanye West looks like Hulk Hogan, he wrote. And, according to him, the color of the skin is the least significant part here.
According to the Telegraph, the show is going to offer many more controversial episodes. In one of the coming episodes, Iwan Rheon portrays the role of German dictator Adolf Hitler. People are going to hate the character more than they hate Ramsay Bolton, who Rheon played on Game of Thrones. The episode will show the artistic side of the controversial leader, who was a struggling painter in his teenage days.
Unlike the Michael Jackson TV episode, another episode may be more comical than controversial. In this episode, Eddie Marsan will star as middle-aged Bob Dylan. According to reports, the story is about the singer's taxi ride from Heathrow Airport to a recording studio. Instead of dropping him at 145 Crouch Hill, the driver dropped him at 145 Crouch End Hill. The wrong address led him to a plumber named Dave. Interestingly, the recording studio where Dylan was supposed to go was owned by his friend, also called Dave.
[Featured Image by Phil Walter/Getty Images]