Should a white man be allowed to play Michael Jackson (in the paler stages of his life)? Twitter says no.
A newly released trailer for a British TV "dramedy" called Urban Myths is causing controversy Stateside due to its depiction of the late Michael Jackson, played by British actor Joseph Fiennes, who happens to be white.
The Urban Myths episode that Fiennes will star in is called "Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon," and it will follow Elizabeth Taylor, MJ, and Marlon Brando as they attempt to flee New York together in a rental car after the 9/11 attacks. Such a tale is apparently a popular urban legend in NYC, and if Jackson were to have been involved in this piece of folklore, he would have been well past the age when his pigmentation had changed to the point that his skin color appeared to be more white than black. Even so, is it justifiable that a white man play the part?
Apparently Jackson spoke on a somewhat similar dilemma in 1993, when, during an interview with Oprah, he rejected the rumor that a white child would be playing his younger self in a commercial. "Why would I want a white child to play me? I’m a black American," said Jackson. "I’m a black American. I’m proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am."
The above scenario, regardless of the pigmentation issues Jackson would later experience, is an example of a white child wanting to play a black child. The case with Fiennes is different in that his appearance, at least in terms of pigmentation, does resemble the early-40s version of MJ that he intends to pull off. Even so, his portrayal of Jackson is not going over well on Twitter. It hasn't helped that the make-up job they've given Fiennes is rather heinous, and not so flattering to the great King of Pop.
They have Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson. Maybe Tom Hanks will play Berry Gordy in the next Motown movie.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 10, 2017
IDGAF how pale Michael Jackson became. He was B L A C K and he said HIMSELF he didn't want a Caucasian to play him in ANY film. Disrespect— Stoney Σavage🤘🏾🌙 (@Stoney_Blu) January 11, 2017
full offense casting a white man to play michael jackson is disgusting and racist and i actually can't believe anyone thinks it isn't— gia ☄️ (@ARlSDANTE) January 11, 2017
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: pic.twitter.com/sG8oxEUfs0— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) January 11, 2017
Scary Movie 4 had a better MJ than this Michael Jackson Movie pic.twitter.com/VCblMuORp0— Mother of Dragging🔥 (@Queensleyy) January 11, 2017