Joseph Fiennes Tapped To Play Michael Jackson In TV Comedy ‘Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon’
Joseph Fiennes, the younger brother of actor Ralph Fiennes, has been cast as Michael Jackson in an upcoming made-for-TV comedy.
Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson
Sky Arts is producing a one-off special called Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon about a rumored road trip that Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando took not long after 9/11. While Fiennes is playing Jackson, Stockard Channing is playing Taylor and Brian Cox has been tapped to play Marlon Brando, reported Entertainment Weekly.
“Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon is a Sky Arts comedy which takes a light hearted look at a reportedly true event; Joseph Fiennes is cast as Michael Jackson,” Sky Arts said in a statement about the 30-minute special. “It is part of a series of comedies about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history.
“Sky Arts puts the integrity of the creative vision at the heart of all its original commissions and we believe in giving producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set,” the statement continued.
The announcement of Fiennes’ casting comes at a particularly contentious time in the industry, as the lack of diversity and inclusion in film and TV has become a hot topic of conversation following the lack of people of color in the Oscar nominations. Many have taken to Twitter to share their disapproval of Fiennes, a white European actor, playing Jackson.
The fact that the Joseph Fiennes & Charlie Hunnam whitewashing announcements are made during #OscarsSoWhite campaign says a whole lot.
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) January 27, 2016
If Joseph Fiennes is going to play Michael Jackson, it’s only fair that Gwyneth Paltrow should play Macaulay Culkin — Richard Lawson (@rilaws) January 27, 2016
Joseph Fiennes will play Michael Jackson in a 9/11 road-trip drama. Let me go pick up the exploded parts of my head. https://t.co/2ZQKH5pAQK
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 26, 2016
They seriously couldn’t find a black actor to play Michael Jackson?
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 27, 2016
Fiennes has yet to comment on the controversy surrounding his casting.