It Don’t Matter If You’re Black Or White…Right?
There’s nothing new about racially insensitive portrayals in the film industry. The days of white men dressing up in blackface are long gone, but historical and fictional characters are too often still white washed in cinema, and the conversation about the lack of diversity in Hollywood is nearly at a boiling point. I mean, look at the state of the Oscars right now. Actors are literally boycotting the coveted event because #OscarsSoWhite.
— Vulture (@vulture) January 26, 2016
So now may or may not be a terrible time for production company Sky Arts to announce that an upcoming film about Michael Jackson will star none other than white actor Joseph Fiennes (younger brother of the Dark Lord, aka he-who-shall-not-be-named Ralph Fiennes). Needless to say, the internet is absolutely freaking out right now, and there are valid arguments on both sides of the spectrum.
Keep reading to learn more about the film and hear what the people have to say about Joseph Fiennes playing the late, great king of pop.
The Movie: A Road Trip That May Or May Not Have Happened
So here’s the premise: in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor allegedly went on a road trip from NYC to Ohio, the nearest place where they could get a flight home. It’s unclear whether the story is based in some truth or pure legend, but regardless the events and characters involved makes for some SERIOUSLY interesting potential in this film. The film will star Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando. But here’s where things get sticky…
In 2001, Michael Jackson Appeared More White Than Black, So…
Joseph Fiennes, Ralph Fiennes’s younger brother, was cast to play the late Michael Jackson. Obviously, by that point in Michael Jackson’s life, he had undergone extensive surgeries to alter his appearance and suffered from the skin pigmentation disease vitiligo, so on the surface it might seem obvious, logistically speaking, to cast a white actor to play the pop star. But when you take a quick glance beneath the surface at the implications and historical baggage that goes along with Fienne’s casting, things start to look a little different.