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.
20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson
20 photos Launch gallery
1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
1 of 20
2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
2 of 20
3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
3 of 20
4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
4 of 20
5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
5 of 20
6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
6 of 20
7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
7 of 20
8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
8 of 20
9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
9 of 20
10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
10 of 20
11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
11 of 20
12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
12 of 20
13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
13 of 20
14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
14 of 20
15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
15 of 20
16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
16 of 20
17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
17 of 20
18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
18 of 20
19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
19 of 20
20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
20 of 20