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Joseph Fiennes’ Michael Jackson Portrayal Sparks Outcry From Fans and Paris Jackson

Sky Arts
Sky Arts

Update: Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson blasted Fiennes’ portrayal of her father on Wednesday, tweeting, “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”

When news that white actor Joseph Fiennes would be playing 2001-era Michael Jackson in a British comedy first broke back in January, it raised more than a few eyebrows. Now we’ve gotten our first look at Fiennes’ Michael, and the project titled Urban Myths appears even more surreal than we could have imagined. A vocal section of MJ’s fans remain displeased with the casting upon seeing Fiennes in full prosthetics, wig and makeup, and they shared their reactions online Tuesday (January 10).

Fiennes’ TV project, currently titled on IMDB as Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, is just part of British TV channel Sky Arts’ upcoming Urban Myths, according to the trailer. The “brand-new collection of comedies” won’t just reenact the rumored tale of when Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor (played by a spot-on Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando allegedly fled New York City for California in a rental car together after 2001’s 9/11 attacks: It also features Game of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon as a fanciful Adolf Hitler with a sidekick played by Rupert Grint, and Cary Grant and psychologist and 1960s LSD advocate Timothy Leary tripping out together. In short, extensive storytelling liberties are taken all around.

But Fiennes’ admitted resemblance to latter-day Michael Jackson, who drastically changed his appearance through plastic surgery and alleged skin bleaching used to mask his vitiligo-related pigment loss, doesn’t change the fact that he’s a British white man portraying one of the most iconic black entertainers in American history. And that fake nose is…unsettling. Check out reactions to Joseph Fiennes’ Michael Jackson, and watch the Urban Myths trailer, below.

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