The Brits went and cast a white man to play Michael Jackson for an upcoming British tv series. Get their unintentional shade inside, and Angela Bassett‘s epic response….
UPDATE: Joseph spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” confirming the project, but saying the casting decision wasn’t a malicious one.
“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London – I’m as shocked [about the casting] as you might be.
“It’s a light comedy look. It’s not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing. And the more I actually looked at Michael – it’s great, as an actor, to have so much to copy and look at in interviews – the more I kind of fell in love with him.”
Joseph also said that in 2001, Michael had a “pigmentation issue” with his skin, so the issue of race should not come into play. What he must not realize is that race is deeper than just skin color. But ok guy.
UPDATE 2: Footage has been uncovered of Michael speaking to Oprah in 1993 where he revealed he DOES NOT want to be portrayed by a white actor. He said:
“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. 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.”
If you’ve seen Shakespeare in Love, you’ve seen Joseph Fiennes (who played Shakespeare) and your’e well aware that he’s a white Britishman. So why would he be cast as Michael Jackson in an upcoming British tv special? Shade!
Fiennes will play the late Michael Jackson in a half-hour comedy special set to air on Sky TV entitled “Elizabeth, Michael, and Marlon.”
The show will also star Brian Cox as Marlon Brando and Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor. The premise: A comedy telling the story of how Michael, Marlon and Elizabeth all took a road trip together out of NYC to escape 9/11. Huh?!
According to Vanity Fair, Elizabeth’s friend Sam Kashner said in his book, Elizabeth Taylor’s Closing Act, that Liz told him this car trip actually happened. Apparently, Michael was having concerts at Madison Square Garden September 7th and September 10th, so he invited his friends Marlon and Liz to attend. Here’s what the publication says was in the book:
All three found themselves trapped in the city after the Twin Towers fell. Michael had gotten a call from friends in Saudi Arabia who warned that America was under attack. He hollered down the hallway of his hotel for everyone in his entourage, and for Brando, to leave immediately. Elizabeth was staying at another hotel, the St. Regis, a few blocks away. Now here’s where the story gets complicated. In one version, these three towering icons of American pop culture planned their escape, afraid that they would be the next target. Michael and Brando had trouble leaving their hotel garage because fans kept banging on the car windows, following them down the street, screaming. Unable to fly, they drove out of the city.
Fast forward to this now becoming a tv special. And Joseph has now been cast as Michael.
When news hit the net, actor Orlando Jones said he’d rather Angela play Liz, since color is obviously no barrier. Her response: