We Won’t Be Seeing Joseph Fiennes Playing Michael Jackson Anymore (Thank Goodness!)

This article is over 7 years old and may contain outdated information

Recommended Videos

Yesterday, TMS’ Keisha Hatchett wrote about the baffling decision to cast Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson (with Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor) in an episode of the Sky Arts series, Urban Myths. Thankfully, we won’t actually have to sit through that particular episode.

As reported by Jezebel, Sky Arts took to Twitter to announce that they would be pulling that episode from the line-up:

The series of tweets continued to this full statement:

“We have taken the decision not to broadcast ‘Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,’ a 30 minute episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series. 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.”

Of course, if you look at the responses to the tweets, it’s full of people upset that Sky Arts would “give in to the whims of a kid,” trying to justify the episode by posting pictures of Jackson and insisting on how white he looks and who else would you cast?

Um, I don’t know, an actual black person with vitiligo, maybe?

I, for one, am thrilled that Sky Arts came to their senses and took the feelings of Jackson’s family (not to mention the feelings of other people of color who found the casting offensive) seriously. Mistakes happen — it’s how one responds to being alerted to those mistakes that matters. As it is, they came to a very easy solution, and they still have the rest of the series coming out for us to enjoy.

I have to say, I like the concept of the series comedic versions of true(ish) stories from the lives of artists people love  and am looking forward to getting to see it however I’ll be able to in the States (ahem). Especially the one with Iwan Rheon playing art school Hitler with Rupert Grint as his BFF. Ramsay Bolton playing budding Hitler? I can totally see that.

Urban Myths comes to Sky Arts in the UK on January 19th. 

(image via screencap)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google+.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.