Many were enraged when it was announced that Michael Jackson would be portrayed in a movie by Joseph Fiennes, who may be the whitest man on earth. The film is supposed to be a fictionalized account of the desperate drive that allegedly took place on 9/11, called Urban Myths. A rumor persists that when the Twin Towers fell, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando decided to get the hell out of dodge, left their assistants for dead, and hopped in a car. This story remains unconfirmed—at least, there are no photos. But it is an interesting mental exercise to try to imagine what these three would say to each other on such an adventure.
Now, at the time, Michael Jackson had transformed into a very light-skinned black man. Just the same, the decision to have him played by Fiennes was controversial, to say the least. There are certainly plenty of light-skinned black actors out there who could have taken on the role, and Jackson himself is on record as saying that he never wanted a white man to portray him in a biography of any kind:
Just the same, the producers of Urban Myths stuck with their decision. The results are pretty terrifying, as you can see in the new trailer:
There’s also a moment where “Michael Jackson” is running and leaping in the woods that in no way lives up to Jackson’s innate grace, which I’m sure would have been present even in the forest. It may be that the point of the show is to some degree how ridiculous all these fake celebrities look, but is it worth the disrespect?