After news that a White actor was cast to play Michael Jackson on a British TV comedy series surfaced this week, an old interview featuring the King of Pop himself has confirmed what we already knew: White actors shouldn’t portray Black people – period.
It was announced Wednesday that Joseph Fiennes – of Shakespeare in Love and American Horror Story: Asylum fame – would play Jackson in Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon.
The dramatization-style comedy will focus on a rumored road trip the three icons took from New York City to Ohio the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Although many – including those close to the late Taylor – have refuted the old tale, news about Fiennes portraying the African-American entertainer took center stage yesterday. Fiennes shared his thoughts on the backlash, calling the comedy a “lighthearted take” on an urban myth.
Fiennes even said the late singer was closer to his own complexion in his later years.
Entertainment Tonight reports:
While Fiennes acknowledges that he might receive some criticism for playing an African-American, he doesn’t think his race should come into play. “[Jackson] definitely had an issue — a pigmentation issue — and that’s something I do believe,” the Shakespeare in Love star explained. “He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”
He added in defense of the movie, “It’s a light comedy look. It’s not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing.”
Today, fans re-posted the interview Jackson gave to Oprah Winfrey 23 years ago, in which he addressed rumors that he wanted a White child to play him in a Pepsi commercial.
Jackson responded pretty adamantly: “That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy. Why would I want a white child to play me? I’m a black American. I am proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”
MJ’s family hasn’t commented on the show as of yet. Elizabeth Taylor will be played by Grease star Stockard Channing, and Brian Cox will portray Marlon Brando.
SOURCE: Billboard | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter