E! News

Casting of Michael Jackson Role Creates Backlash

Jan 27, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Some people have reacted strongly to the announcement that Michael Jackson will be played by Joseph Fiennes. E! News reports that the British actor, who is known for playing William Shakespeare in “Shakespeare in Love,” will play the pop icon “in a new half-hour TV comedy about an unconfirmed road trip the singer reportedly took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

A rep for Sky Arts, which is producing the project, confirmed the casting to E!, adding that the project — which was previously described as a drama — is called “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon.”

Reaction has been strong, with some observers referencing the recent controversy about diversity in Hollywood. For example, one Twitter user posted a message today on BET’s Twitter page reading: “A White Actor will play MJ. Because we aren’t whitewashed enough in Hollywood, apparently.”


  1. Wait a minute…isn’t this the epitome of celebrating diversity????

  2. Michael Jackson was black?

  3. Yes I thought Michael Jackson tried to present as fair skinned or white. He made a big hit out of the phrase “It doesn’t matter if your black or white”. As long as the lead actor does not appear in “black face” (which I think is outlawed in the U.S.) – and I don’t think he will because Michael always wore “white face” so it may all be much ado about nothing.

  4. Give me a break. He’s from the UK as well.

  5. The actor who plays Superman is British, the last Spider-Man was British, and now a British white guy is going to be Michael Jackson? Three distinctively American icons have been outsourced, and it’s a shame. However, this makes me look forward to seeing Denzel Washington playing Margaret Thatcher.

  6. Fine as long as they cast Idris Elba as Marlon Brando.

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