British actor Joseph Fiennes

Amid the controversy about the Oscars’ lack of diversity, the news of a white actor portraying Michael Jackson in a British dramedy didn’t sit well with a lot of people. How in the world did anyone cast a white guy to play the King of Pop, who was undeniably black, despite his vitiligo issues? 

Joseph Fiennes, the actor set to portray Jackson, made some interesting comments about being cast as the famed singer. 


“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London … I’m as shocked as you may be,” Fiennes said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“[Jackson] definitely had an issue—a pigmentation issue—and that’s something I do believe,” he says. “He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”

So you’re a white man, cast as a black man—but you’re still willing to take on the role? I guess the money must be that good.

What many might not remember is that Jackson made it clear that he didn’t want a white man portraying him. In an interview with Oprah from 1993, Jackson spoke about rumors that involved a white kid portraying him in a commercial. Jackson made it clear that despite having vitiligo, he was a black man.

“It’s my face as a child in the commercial,” Jackson said. "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. 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?”


On Twitter, actor Orlando Jones made a good point about the planned movie, which many peole agreed with:


But we all know that isn’t going to happen.

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