Entertainment

UK's Sky scraps show with Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson

FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photo, actor Joseph Fiennes attends AOL's BUILD Speaker Series to discuss the film, "Risen" in New York. Fiennes has been cast in Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's award-winning novel, "The Handmaid's Tale." Sky Arts released a trailer of its upcoming "Urban Myths" series on Jan. 11, 2017, which will feature one episode with Fiennes playing Michael Jackson. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photo, actor Joseph Fiennes attends AOL's BUILD Speaker Series to discuss the film, "Risen" in New York. Fiennes has been cast in Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's award-winning novel, "The Handmaid's Tale." Sky Arts released a trailer of its upcoming "Urban Myths" series on Jan. 11, 2017, which will feature one episode with Fiennes playing Michael Jackson. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON — A British broadcaster said Friday it was cancelling a TV comedy starring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson after the program was condemned by the late musician's family.

Sky Arts said it has decided not to broadcast the program "in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family." It said Fiennes "fully supports our decision."

Sky had been criticized for casting the white "Shakespeare in Love" star as the King of Pop in "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon." The half-hour program also features Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and British actor Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

Jackson's daughter Paris tweeted that she felt angry after watching a trailer for the show, which was due to be broadcast next week.

"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.

"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."

The show is an episode in the "Urban Myths" series, which Sky says looks at "remarkable stories from well-known historical, artistic and cultural figures, which may or may not have happened in real life."

It centres on a possibly apocryphal cross-country road trip taken by Jackson, Taylor and Brando after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sky said it was intended as "a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence ."

Fiennes defended his casting to The Associated Press last year, saying the project does not promote stereotyping.

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