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No, You Won’t Have to Watch Joseph Fiennes Play Michael Jackson

No, You Won’t Have to Watch Joseph Fiennes Play Michael Jackson: Santi Visalli / Getty; George Pimentel / Getty

Santi Visalli / Getty; George Pimentel / Getty

Breathe easy, world: you have been saved from having to watch Joseph Fiennes playing one of the most famous musicians who ever lived. After days of online outrage, Sky Arts has announced that it won’t be broadcasting the Michael Jackson episode of its series Urban Myths after all.

The British network made its announcement Friday, following the outcry that came from a trailer that showed Fiennes in the role. (The episode also featured Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.) The current version of the trailer has excised those scenes entirely, but mirrors of the original are still available online.

In a statement, the channel explained, “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 lighthearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision.”

The concern expressed by Jackson’s immediate family? That would be this tweet by Jackson’s daughter, Paris:

Clearly, the threat of celebrity retching is the new preferred way of politely objecting to offensive artistic decisions.

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