By Britni Danielle, ebony.com
When I first learned British actor Joseph Fiennes had been cast as Michel Jackson in a film about a road trip with Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and the King of Pop after the September 11 attack in New York, I thought it was a joke, because clearly it has to be right?
Fiennes brushed off the original criticism with a cringe-inducing response. “[Jackson] was probably closer to my color than his original color.” And I mean, yes, Jackson’s skin went through a serious metamorphosis throughout his life, but the singer was crystal clear about not wanting to be portrayed by a White actor, because he was a Black man– vitiligo be damned. In fact, when a rumor circulated that he wanted a little White child to play him in a Pepsi commercial, MJ pushed back.
“That is so stupid. That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy,” Jackson said at the time before breaking it down so it can forever and consistently be broke. “Why would I want a White child to play me? I’m a Black American. 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.”
Got it? Good.
Still, British film house Sky Arts tried it by casting Fiennes in the half-hour comedy, and Michael Joseph Jackson did not leave Gary, takeover the world, and give us 40+ years of music to end up looking a mess in not one, but two TV projects–because we still haven’t forgiven Flex for this:
But powdery bullish aside. What Sky Arts and Fiennes did to The Kang is a travesty. It’s an abomination. It’s a straight up act of European aggression and terrorism against Katherine, Papa Joe, the Jackson 5, and all the ancestors of “2300 Jackson Street.”
And Twitter agrees with me. Because, duh.
— The MJCast (@TheMJCast) January 10, 2017
Jesus take the wheel and crash this car. pic.twitter.com/5BqYJWStRC
— Lauren Warren (@iamlaurenp) January 10, 2017
White ppl went crazy over a Black girl playing Annie (fictional character) but got the nerve to toss some crakkka to be MJ 😒#JosephFiennes
— Sυи σf M͛αℓ¢σŁм x̸ (@SunOfMalcolmX) January 11, 2017