Joesph Fiennes was recently cast as Michael Jackson in the upcoming movie Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon. This has caused controversy on social media because Fiennes is a white man portraying an African American. Many people are, understandably, angry at the producers and the director for choosing someone with a different skin colour when there are hundreds of talented black actors to choose from.
Fiennes knows about the controversy and was questioned about it by Entertainment Tonight. The actor defended his portrayal of Jackson by saying, “I’m a white, middle-class guy from London. I’m as shocked as you may be,” he also stated that Jackson “was probably closer to my color than his original color.” The actor continued to defend the film by saying that it is a comedy and that it shouldn’t be taken harshly. He thinks that “it’s actually endearing.”
Although the movie is meant to be a comedy, we are not so sure that Michael Jackson would have liked the casting choice. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, Jackson was asked about a malicious rumour that he wanted a white child to portray him in a commercial. The king of pop was outraged by the rumours and responded,
“That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. Why would I want a white child to play me? 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.”
He also shared that he had the skin disease Vitiligo, which destroys the pigmentation of the skin. Although some people never believed this, it was confirmed during his autopsy in 2009. Michael Jackson was proud to be black. He did not want to be white, and we’re sure he did not want a white actor to portray him – comedy or not.
Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon is set to air on Sky Arts. The film is based on an urban legend about Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson renting a car and taking a road trip together after they were unable to catch a flight out of New York City after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
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