Paris Jackson, the 18-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson, said she was “surprised” but happy with Sky Arts’ decision to cancel the upcoming episode of anthology series Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of TV Comedies that featured white actor Joseph Fiennes as the late pop icon.
“I’m surprised the family’s feelings were actually taken into consideration for once, we all really do appreciate it more than y’all know,” Paris wrote on Twitter, Friday, in response to a user’s tweet about the decision.
Other members of the large Jackson family spoke out about the episode being pulled, including T.J. Jackson, who wrote on social media, “Thank you to everyone who made their voices heard. As I said it wasn’t comedy, it was mockery with no taste. A great victory for his legacy!”
T.J. is the son of Michael’s brother Tito Jackson. Taj Jackson, T.J.’s brother, also celebrated Sky Arts’ move online.
“Thank you to the fans, you continue to fight for my Uncle Michael’s legacy,” he said. “And thank you to the media, for covering the extreme backlash.”
Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of TV Comedies is an eight-part series that recreates rumored stories about celebrities. In the episode “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” Fiennes portrays the late singer on an alleged road trip that Michael supposedly took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after Sept. 11, 2001.
She said, “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.”
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Of the decision to pull the episode, Sky Arts said in a series of tweets, “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. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
When Fiennes casting was first announced in 2016 it was met with backlash online. He told the Associated Press at the time, “I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them.”