UK’s Sky scraps show with Fi­ennes as Michael Jack­son

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - KICKOFF -

A British broad­caster is can­cel­ing 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 halfhour 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 ... 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 cen­ters 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 of­fense.”

Joseph Fi­ennes

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