Paris Jackson expressed gratitude toward TV network Sky Arts for its decision to cancel the controversial upcoming episode of Urban Myths that featured Joseph Fiennes in the role of her late father, Michael Jackson.
“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,” the 18-year-old tweeted on Friday, January 13, following the network’s announcement.
Her cousin Taj “TJ” Jackson similarly extended his thanks for the cancellation, though his gratitude was directed toward Michael’s very dedicated fans, who reacted with outrage after a cringe-worthy trailer for the episode was released earlier this week.
“Thank you to the fans, you continue to fight for my Uncle Michael’s legacy,” he wrote. “And thank you to the media, for covering the extreme backlash.” As of Friday evening, the petition to boycott Urban Myths had reached nearly 22,000 of its 25,000 signature goal. (Urban Myths is a TV series that tells the tales of some of Hollywood’s best-known urban legends.)
The now-canceled episode was set to tell the much-debunked urban legend of Michael’s cross-country road trip with close pals Elizabeth Taylor (played by Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox).
Sky News’ announcement came via Twitter early in the day on Friday. “We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, a 30min 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.”
On Tuesday, January 10, Paris took to Twitter to express her disgust at the trailer for the project, slamming the TV network for its decision to cast a white man as her father. “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly made me want to vomit,” she wrote one day later. “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.”
Fiennes, 46, has previously opened up about his qualms about taking the role as well, telling The Hollywood Reporter last February that he “wrangled” with the casting decision.
“I was confused and shocked at what might come my way, and I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael’s fans and to Michael’s family,” he said at the time. “It doesn’t negate who he is.”
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