Friday, December 3, 2021

White Actor Playing Michael Jackson: Not An ‘Exact Impersonation’

Joseph-Fiennes-Michael-Jackson 2*Although some people are upset at a white man is portraying Michael Jackson in an upcoming film, the actor playing the King of Pop doesn’t see anything wrong with him taking the role.

For Joseph Fiennes, a white, British actor, the film is a “lighthearted take” on a rumored road trip Jackson took years ago and one that doesn’t demand an “exact impersonation” of Jackson. Although he wished he could’ve been made up more to look like the music icon, Fiennes did confess to having reservations about being part of the project.

“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I think someone’s got this wrong. I mean, really?’” Fiennes laughingly recalled to TheWrap. “The budget was too low to do prosthetics or anything, so it literally is straight-forward makeup. And it’s really saying, ‘Look, audiences, it’s tongue-in-cheek.’ No one’s trying to do an exact impersonation, but it’s just a sense of the fun of the road trip. If it did happen, maybe it happened like this. That’s all it is, a lighthearted take.”

Fiennes’ comments come amid outrage over him playing Jackson in “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon,” a half-hour comedy that centers on an urban legend about Jackson, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor escaping New York City via rental car following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The night before the attacks, the trio had been in town for Jackson’s 30th anniversary concert special at Madison Square Garden.

The urban legend is based on a story first reported in Vanity Fair that detailed the claims of a former employee of Jackson’s. In addition to Fiennes, “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon,” stars Brian Cox as Brando and Stockard Channing as Taylor.

“It’s fascinating and funny … Wonderfully hilarious,” Fiennes told TheWrap at a junket for his upcoming film “Risen.”

While the notion of a white actor playing Jackson may seem cool for some, it appears to go against the wishes of Jackson, who was adamant about never wanting a white entertainer portraying him on-screen.

In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the singer responded to a question asked about a rumor that wanted a white boy to play him in an early 90’s Pepsi commercial, saying, “that is so stupid. That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy.”

As the interview went on Jackson voiced his intent to stay true to his identity as a black man, telling Winfrey, “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 a black American,” he said. “I’m proud to be a black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am. That’s like you [Oprah] wanting an oriental person to play you as a child. Does that make sense? Please people stop believing these horrifying stories.”

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. In a hundred years you will never know that MJ, was black.
    This is how white supremacy works. Watch, if this is successful they will make more movies like the same.
    Today a lot of our young people don’t know that Beethoven had some black in him too.

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