British actor Joseph Fiennes was recently cast in a comedic TV movie in the UK as music icon Michael Jackson. No, these two people do not share the same skin color, which is obviously making this project very scandalous. While Fiennes admits that he understands the backlash of a white actor portraying an African-American in a production, this week he came to his own defense, claiming that the TV special is satirical, so, you know, who cares? Clearly, a lot of people care, so we're basically counting down until the 45-year-old white actor quits this project.
This one-off TV movie is called Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, which gets its source material from an old rumor that alleged Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando fled NYC right after the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, for a cross-country road trip. Stockard Channing and Brian Cox also star as the two other celebrities.
This might sound like a great idea, but casting a White actor in the role of one of the most important Black icons seems like an easily avoided move. Sky Arts, the network producing the project, has defended the casting in the past. You can read out previous coverage on this here.
We also covered Chris Brown's Twitter rant about the casting, which you should check out right here!
Clearly, Fiennes is in hot water, but that doesn't mean he's stepping down from the role or backing away from the project.
"I deal in imagination, so I don't think imagination should have rules stamped on them. If it promotes stereotyping, then it's wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn't do that," the actor told The Associated Press. "This is not a movie; it's a small television 20-minute sketch. It's a very sweet comedy that looks at Michael, Marlon [Brando] and [Elizabeth] Taylor."
The only response that I can think of is, "Sure....but...still," which I'm sure is something you agree with.
Do you think Fiennes will leave the project or stick to his guns?