There's been something of a minor uproar around Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson in an upcoming comedy. Astute observers have noted that Fiennes is a white man and that Jackson was a Black man. Obviously, a white actor playing a Black man is not ideal. Fiennes was straightforward about his decision to take the role in February. “The decision with the casting and the producers — I wrangled with it, I was confused and shocked at what might come my way, and I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael’s fans and to Michael’s family,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is quite right, why people are up in arms. I’m a full believer in making the playing field fair. When it is fair, we can have a conversation about this project and it wouldn’t cause outrage.” The film, Urban Myths, involves a possibly apocryphal incident in which Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando go on a road trip after 9/11. The Vanity Fair piece takes Corey Feldman as its source. Watch the trailer. Words fail.
Strangely, Fiennes seems to be wearing whiteface for the role. Hitler, Hitler's friend, Bob Dylan, and Samuel Beckett also appear in the trailer.