The British actor, recently casted to play the black-icon Michael Jackson, said he was as surprised as everyone else to be chosen, although he thinks that his complexion is similar to Jackson’s skin tone.
“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London. I’m as shocked as you may be,” Fiennes told Entertainment Tonight. Then he added that he is not too far off to play the singer, as he said that Jackson had a pigmentation issue, so he “probably was closer to my color than his original color”.
The actor also said that people are taking this issue too seriously, that it is a light comedy look and it was not in any way malicious.
The cast announcement was made on Wednesday, and was that same day that social media exploded with critics to the chosen actor. Even activists like DeRay Mckesson ask the producers if they seriously could not find a black actor to play Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was, at the supposed time of the events, white.
But even the king himself might not agree with a white actor portraying him. Jackson in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993 put to bed some rumors at the time where he supposedly wanted a white child to interpreted him in a commercial. The icon said it was stupid and the most horrifying story he had ever heard. He added that he was proud to be a black American, proud of his race.
Sky Arts, the company behind the comedy Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, said in a statement that they put the integrity of the creative vision at the heart of all its original commissions and that he believes in giving the producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish.
Fiennes will play the King of Pop in a half-hour comedy described by Sky Arts as one of a kind. The story shows an experience with Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson where the three of them took a road-trip to get to a concern where the flights were canceled due to the attacks in 9/11.
Until now, Stockard Channing will play Elizabeth Taylor, Brian Cox will portray Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson will be played by a white Joseph Fiennes.
Source: CBS News