By: Evette Champion
When you think about the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, you probably don’t think of him as the little black boy who stole the hearts of millions and remember him most by the white man he had become, thanks to “vitiligo.” With this in mind, perhaps that is why Joseph Fiennes was asked to portray one of the most influential African American musicians of all time.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment. The man on the left is going to be the one on the right. Seems legit, right?
Now the British movie is set to take place during 2001 right before 9/11, so yes, at that time Michael was decidedly ligher due to his condition of vitiligo which the King of Pop totally changed his color… but does that really mean a white actor has to play him? Just imagine what this kind of role would do for a light-skinned African American actor! Because let’s not forget that try as Michael might, he was black.
This casting choice is all the more upsetting especially after witnessing for the second year in a row the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, it’s like a kick in the gut for the African American community. It’s like saying a black actor isn’t good enough to play a real black person. Now ain’t that a b***h?
Ah, but we aren’t the only ones to notice this. There have been countless tweets that mirror these sentiments.
What are you opinions on this? This isn’t the first time where we see whitewashing in the movies. For example, Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, and Jacob Pitts were cast as Asians in 21. Emma Stone was cast as a character who was part Chinese, Native Hawaiian, and Swedish in Aloha. Johnny Depp played Tonto in The Lone Ranger (amid claims that he has Native American ancestry). Why, back in the day, actors wore blackface all the time to play black characters.
Tell us… Would you rather they used a black actor to portray Michael or is the casting choice okay with you?