Many readers might not be aware of the fact that the late pop legend Michael Jackson once said that he never wanted a white actor to portray him in a movie or television.
Jackson said this in a 1993 interview that he had with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey had initially asked Jackson whether the rumors of him trying to cast a white child actor as a young Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial were true or not.
Barely was the question asked than Jackson rubbished it calling it totally “stupid” and the “most horrifying story” he had ever heard. He then went on to ask Winfrey why he would want a white child to play him.
“I’m a black American. I’m a black American,” he said.
He went on to tell Oprah and her audience of how proud he was to be who he was – a black American.
Interestingly, over two decades after Jackson said he would never want a white actor to play him as a child, white actor Joseph Fiennes is being cast as the pop legend in an upcoming comedy by Sky Arts called Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon.
Fiennes’ casting as Jackson caused so much controversy for two reasons. The first reason being the fact that Jackson was a black American, and many Jackson fans and the black community don’t see why a white actor should be cast as a black American. Secondly, the fact that the project is a comedy offends many Jackson fans since they consider it very disrespectful to the memory of their hero.
But in a recent interview Fiennes had with Entertainment Tonight, the actor defended the upcoming comedy by saying that Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon wasn’t “in any way malicious”.
“It is actually endearing,” he said.
As to whether the comedy is malicious or not, I guess only time will tell. For now, we currently don’t know the exact nature of the comedy and how Fiennes will portray Jackson.
Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon tells the story of a reported road trip that Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando took together after the September 11 attack in New York City.
Hmm…looking at all this, I can’t help but wonder whether Jackson would approve of the show and the fact that a white actor Fiennes is playing him.