By Miya Jones
Outrage has ensued over the casting of a white actor as Michael Jackson in an
upcoming British TV show.
The UK television channel Sky Arts is producing a half hour comedy show called
“Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon”. The show is about a fictional road trip that Michael
Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Jackson’s part will be played by white British actor, Joseph Fiennes, who said he was
just as surprised about the casting as many other people are.
“I’m a middle-class guy from London,” said Fiennes in an interview with
Entertainment Tonight. “I’m as shocked as you may be.”
In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson stated exactly how he felt about a
person of a different race portraying him on screen. In the interview Winfrey asked
Jackson about a rumor going around at the time that Jackson wanted a white boy to
star as him in a Pepsi commercial.
“That is so stupid,” said Jackson in the interview. “That’s the most ridiculous,
horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy. I mean why? Number one, it’s my face as a
child in the commercial. Me when I was little. Why would I want a white child to
play me? I’m a black American. I’m proud to be a black American. I am proud of my
race. I am proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride in who I am and dignity.”
The project is scheduled to premiere later this year.