Sky Arts has officially cancelled an episode of its upcoming 'what if' sketch show Urban Myths which featured Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.
The show, which featured white actor Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson, was blasted by the Jackson family, including his daughter Paris.
Posting to a statement to Twitter, Sky wrote:
The film in question recalls the road trip MJ, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando were said to have made from New York to Ohio after the 9/11 attacks.
Yesterday the channel defended its casting decision in a statement to Digital Spy, in which it said they made the casting decision "within the overall diversity framework which we have set".
And speaking to The Guardian, the director of the satirical show Ben Palmer, said: "We were casting Michael Jackson in 2001 and that obviously is a challenge in terms of the physical resemblance.
"We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that. He's given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance."
Urban Myths is a 'what if' sketch-show compiled of "true...ish" stories concerning famous faces – mainly dead ones.
Aside from Fiennes as Michael Jackson, the cast includes Game of Thrones' uber-bastard Iwan Rheon take on a whole other kind of bastard by portraying Adolf Hitler, and Harry Potter's Rupert Grint portraying a friend of the Führer.