Controversies regarding race and color have been quite frequent in the entertainment industry. To top it all, the wide discrimination at the Oscars has led to the usage of #OscarsSoWhite by all boycotting the ‘great’ event for the same reason.
Apart from that the recent news of a white guy playing Michael Jackson in a UK TV Special has lent an extra layer of shock and strangeness to the debate. It just makes no sense to cast a white British actor to play Jackson who has been the most famous Black American musician of all time.
In order to clear the speculation the maker of the half-hour special who intends it as a comedy might have chosen a white actor to cover Jackson’s life post his appearance after the cosmetic surgeries. Jackson underwent extensive cosmetic surgeries throughout much of his adult life, along with a progressive lightening of his skin which he attributed to a corrective action against a rare skin disorder.
In response to the outburst, Fieness stated:
“[Jackson] definitely had an issue — a pigmentation issue — and that’s something I do believe. He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”
About the TV Special: Titled Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, the half-hour special is a comic-dramatization of a series of events that allegedly took place involving Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. As recounted in an account published by Vanity Fair, Jackson had flown Taylor and Brando to New York several nights before to attend his Madison Square Garden concert, only to become panicked that all three were in mortal danger when word of the attacks on the World Trade Center reached him. According to some, Jackson organized a hasty effort to get himself and his colleagues out of the city and back to the West Coast. Unable to fly because of the national grounding of almost all commercial flights, the three are said to have instead opted to rent a car intending to drive cross-country back to Los Angeles.
The trio supposedly only made it as far as Ohio before finally securing air travel and flying the remainder of the way home. Several sources have disputed that some or all of the events never took place, including friends of Elizabeth Taylor who claim she was never actually in the car to begin with. Taylor is being played in the film by Stockard Channing, while Brian Cox has been cast as Marlon Brando.
While there might be no welcome for the show due to the strange casting of the lead actor, Fieness talked about Jackson, Taylor and Marlon’s relationship in the special,
“It’s a lovely thing about Michael’s relationship with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando. It’s a fun, light-hearted tongue-in-cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships as well.”
Regardless of the content involved in making the show, the focus point will be the weird casting of the lead actor. Though talks about the show were announced over a month ago as a future project by Sky Arts channel, the story ha been picked up for the strangeness in its casting.
Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon does not yet have an airdate.