In a statement, a company spokesperson said: “We have taken the decision not to broadcast ‘Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon,’ a half-hour episode from the Sky Arts ‘Urban Myths’ series, 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 and never intended to cause any offence. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”
The singer’s daughter, Paris Jackson, has called the portrayal “shameful” after viewing a trailer for the series. She tweeted: “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as i’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”
Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson joined the condemnation. “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect,” he tweeted.
In the episode, Michael Jackson is seen making a road-trip across the U.S. with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after 9/11. Stockard Channing plays Taylor and Brian Cox is Brando.
Paris Jackson also objected to the portrayal of Taylor, a close friend of her father’s and her godmother. “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,” Jackson tweeted.
She added: “Where is the respect? They worked through blood, sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. Shameful portrayal.”