Wed, Jan 11 09:24 AM |Entertainment

Hell to the Naw! Controversy Brewing After Trailer Of Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson Is Revealed [VIDEO]

Hell to the Naw! Controversy Brewing After Trailer Of Ralph Fiennes As Michael Jackson Is Revealed [VIDEO]

Michael Jackson fans are not happy about actor Joseph Fiennes playing role of the late King of Pop in an upcoming television special, but the director has defended choosing a white actor to play Jackson. The first preview has been released and it's borderline ridiculous! 

It was revealed last year that the 46-year-old Fiennes would play the role of Jackson last year, but fans were certainly not prepared when the first preview for the show was released. 

Fiennes as Jackson is shown riding in the front passenger seat of a vehicle driven by Stockard Channing, 72, who is playing the late Elizabeth Taylor. Brian Cox, 70, was shown in the backseat as late actor Marlon Brando.

via Slate:

It’s been nearly a year since the announcement that Joseph Fiennes would play Michael Jackson in a TV episode based on a possibly apocryphal story about him, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando going on a road trip after 9/11, a year during which the incandescent insanity of that idea has gradually faded away. But now it’s back and burning bright, thanks to the trailer for Sky Arts’ Urban Myths, an eight-part TV series which includes the already infamous Jacko/Liz/Brando episode.

The trailer, which draws from several different episodes, only gives us a short glimpse of Fiennes’ M.J., but that’s enough to show that he’s been made up with skin the color and texture of uncooked pizza dough and a nose that looks like an unintentional tribute to Jackson’s character from The Wiz. In short, it’s a nightmare, even before you take the implications of having a white actor play a man who, whatever his skin tone, was never not black, into account.

The series other characterizations look similarly loopy, if more intentionally (and less offensively) so: Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan; Iwan Rheon, Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton, as Adolf Hitler (talk about typecasting); Brian Cox as Marlon Brando. Stockard Channing’s Liz Taylor, by contrast, looks like it might be legitimately great—it’s certainly a role she was born to play. Too bad you won’t be able to watch her episode without wincing at Fiennes’s Jackson as well.

Social media users are going nuts over the clip, calling it "whitewashing."

Director Ben Palmer has defended his decision and insisted the British actor was chosen for his performance instead of his appearance.

A photo posted by Ralph Fiennes (@ralphfiennes_) on

Palmer explained, "We were casting Michael Jackson in 2001 and that obviously is a challenge in terms of the physical resemblance. We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that. He's given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance."

Add comment

Upcoming Events