Paris Jackson, daughter of the late pop-music legend Michael Jackson, says the first promotional clip of an upcoming UK comedy featuring British actor Joseph Fiennes as her father is making her physically ill.
“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,” Jackson, 19, tweeted in response to a question on her thoughts about the 50-second clip for the eight-episode series “Urban Myths.” It includes footage from the half-hour “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” by writer Neil Forsyth, which speculates on a purported road trip taken by friends Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) as they escaped the aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.
Broadcast journalist and producer Soledad O’Brien had responded to the clip by tweeting, “I woke up feeling like it’s going to be a beautiful day and then I remembered this is someone’s idea of Michael Jackson,” posting a still of Fiennes as Jackson, who suffered from vitiligo, a condition that decreases skin pigment. Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson retweeted O’Brien’s message, adding, “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
ESPN’s Jemele Hill was among the throng of social-media commenters reacting to the clip, tweeting, “Maybe Tom Hanks will play Berry Gordy in the next Motown movie.”
Representatives for “Urban Myths,” set to air on the UK channel Sky Arts, did not respond to a Newsday request for comment.
The first episode, “Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant,” is scheduled to air in England on Jan. 26. No airdates have been announced for subsequent episodes. When Sky Arts announced “Urban Myths” last January, the broadcaster said it “gives producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set.”
Fiennes at the time told “Entertainment Tonight,” “I’m a white, middle-class guy from London. I’m as shocked as you may be.” He called the script “kind of off-the-wall, but the writing is a delight, and the kind of interaction between the three of them is funny, and also full of pathos,” adding, “It’s a light-comedy look. It’s not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing.”
A petition to boycott the show has raised 21,120 supporters by Thursday morning, with a goal of 25,000.