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 – ofShakespeare 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.
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.”
Jackson’s family hasn’t commented on the show as of yet. Elizabeth Taylor will be played by Grease starStockard Channing, and Brian Cox will portray Marlon Brando.
SOURCE: Billboard | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube | PHOTO CREDIT: AP