SkyTV scraps controversial Michael Jackson program

FOX19 - A Sky TV comedy featuring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson will not be broadcast following a backlash from the late pop superstar's family.

Fiennes was to portray the King of Pop as part of the Urban Myths series starting on Jan. 19. But, earlier this week, Jackson's 18-year-old daughter Paris said she wanted to 'vomit' after seeing a teaser clip of the actor as her father.

Sky Arts has said now said it is d ropping the episode, titled Elizabeth, Michael And Marlon, adding the decision was supported by Fiennes.

The new series features reenactments of fabled tales about famous stars - and one the episodes planned for Thursday nights over the next month was to feature a supposed road trip which Jackson, Dame Elizabeth and Marlon Brando are said to have taken following the September 11 terror attacks.

Shakespeare In Love star Fiennes was to play Jackson, Brian Cox was Brando and Stockard Channing starred as Taylor, the famous actress who is Paris's godmother.

The show, understood to have been produced by Sky Arts, has been in the pipeline for months and would have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce.

After a trailer of clips from the series was shown, Paris Jackson joined her father's fans in condemning the show.

The trailer shows Jackson, Taylor and Brando being stopped by a fictional police officer and Jackson frolicking in a forest.

Paris said the show was 'disrespectful' and campaigners complained that a white actor should not play black musician Jackson.  A spokesman for the channel said today: '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.  'We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.'

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