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Sky Arts pulls Jacko parody

13 January 2017 | Ross Jones

Sky has taken the decision to pull an upcoming episode of its new show Urban Myths, following complaints from the family of late-singer Michael Jackson that his portrayal is “incredibly offensive”.

The episode – which sees Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes take on the role of Jackson – received criticism from the singer’s daughter, as well as from the wider public for, among other things, casting a white man in the role of the world’s most famous black musician.

The episode is centred around an alleged car journey that Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor took, escaping New York on the day of the 9/11 attacks.

Although I’m not sure it’s as big a deal as is being made out, I can see (to some extent) why people have taken offence (especially the singer’s relatives), and I’m not too sure I can see the humour. 

I mean, Michael Jackson was a black man suffering from a skin condition that obliterated his skin’s pigmentation. That’s a medical fact, established and accepted in a court of law (despite what people choose to believe about him dying his skin). I can see why his family would be offended. Also, I’m not sure where the humour is in three celebrities attempting to escape the worst attack in US history?!

To be honest, looking at the Urban Myths series – which features celebrities such as Bob Dylan, Muhammed Ali et al – I’m not sure what Sky is trying to achieve – other than to offend.

Note, they still plan to air an episode in which Iwan Rheon (known to Game of Thrones fans as Ramsey Bolton) portrays Adolf Hilter as a struggling young painter.

Any chance we can get that pulled as well?