Joseph Fiennes: 'MJ satire shouldn't have been axed'

Rianne Houghton
Photo credit: YouTube / Sky

From Digital Spy

Joseph Fiennes has re-visited that Michael Jackson satire from the Urban Myths series.

The controversial sketch, which was to be aired on Sky Arts, saw Joseph Fiennes (a white actor) play Michael Jackson, in a move which the Jackson family called "shameful" and 'disrespectful'.

Although Sky Arts initially defended the episode, it was eventually axed from schedules after a fierce backlash, including from Michael's daughter Paris.

Joseph previously tried to justify his casting by saying that his portrayal would be "light" and "endearing".

"He was closer to my colour than his original colour," he added.

And now the actor, who's currently starring in Hulu's adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, has once again spoken out about the decision to axe the show, stressing that it was meant to be satire.

Talking to Vulture, Joseph explained: "Well, it's a satire, so we have to look at it through that lens. The depiction of the three characters is very satirical, comic, lighthearted, to examine the disconnect of iconic celebrity."

Photo credit: ChinaFotoPress / George De Sota / Redferns / Getty Images

Related: Michael Jackson TV show Urban Myths accused of whitewashing - but director insists Joseph Fiennes is right casting choice

He added: "Should we shut down the arts and directors and writers based on that, which has happened?

"If you don't like the comedian, don't go see him, but do you shut him and his satirical material down? Do you become a totalitarian state where you go, 'That's offensive'?"

In spite of the controversy, Joseph admitted that he still wants his portrayal of MJ to see the light of day, saying: "There's a part of me that would love people to see it and get into a discussion."

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