Michael Jackson fans are outraged that London based actor Joseph Fiennes is set to play the singer on a TV programme to be aired on Sky Arts.
Jackson fans made their disapproval of the casting evident on social media. Fiennes’ casting was discussed on social media using the hashtag
#whitewashing. Just as Fiennes’ new role was announced, U.S. and Canada are celebrating Black History month.
— cag419 (@cag419) January 26, 2016
British news anchor Piers Morgan used his sarcasm to state his opinion on Twitter.
I'm outraged Joseph Fiennes is playing Michael Jackson.
He's far too dark-skinned. pic.twitter.com/J1UImYCDim
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 28, 2016
African American talk – show Trevor Noah made a joke about this news as well.
Sky Arts, which airs TV shows dedicated to the highbrow arts, claims they used ‘creative freedom’ while casting the actors. Fiennes told the BBC: “Jackson was closer to my colour than his original colour.”
The TV special revolves around the allegedly road trip taken by Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson on the day after the September 11 attacks. The trip was covered first in a story by British writer Zadie Smith for the New Yorker. The show, which is said to be a comedy will air later this year.
Stockhard Channing, best known for her role in ‘The West Wing’ is playing Elizabeth Taylor and Scottish actor Brian Cox will play Marlon Brando, reports the BBC. Though Fiennes has assured that it is not a malicious TV show in anyway, the onslaught of criticism hasn’t ceased.