The first trailer for something called Urban Myths premiered yesterday and people are more than a little confused.
Urban Myths appears to be a British TV show that takes "a slightly tongue in cheek, mischievous – and deliberately ambiguous – look at what might have happened" into the looks of famous celebrity stories. Myths boasts a cast of celebrities, including Brian Cox as Marlon Brando, Rupert Grint as "Hitler's friend," and Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.
Hold up a second – did I read that right?
Joseph Fiennes, probably known best for
being Voldemort's brother playing William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, is definitely white, while Michael Jackson was definitely black. A handful of Hollywood productions have recently come under fire for "whitewashing," the practice of casting a caucasian actor to play a character that is historically a minority.
Fiennes, who was "shocked" to be cast as the King of Pop, defended his casting by saying:
"[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."
So that makes it right to take roles away from hard-working minority actors? As far as we can tell from the trailer, Urban Myths only minority actor plays a cop. And while Fiennes "may look remarkably like Michael Jackson," [editor's note: I don't think he does] there are definitely better casting options out there, unless of course Fiennes suffered from a super-rare case of in-utero vitiligo.
Here are some actors we think would be better cast as MJ:
A talented stage and screen actor who has appeared in Graceland and Rescue Me, Sunjata is half-black, though his adoptive parents are Irish and Italian. STILL MORE QUALIFIED THAN JOSEPH FIENNES.
Known best for starring in Prison Break, Miller's father is African-American, which makes him more qualified to play Michael Jackson than Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes.
Rashida Jones is more qualified to play Michael Jackson because she is both black and sexy. If race-bending is a thing on Urban Myths, why can't gender-bending be? Move over, J-Fiennes.
Golden Globe winner Donald Glover has a long face, like Michael Jackson, but he'd have to wear a wig. Which is what Fiennes probably did anyway to play Michael Jackson.
Better known as Mr. Jessica Alba, Cash Warren is the son of Michael Warren, who played Bobby Hill on
King of the Hill Hill Street Blues.
Benjamin J. Cain Jr.
Benjamin J. Cain Jr played Michael Jackson's father in Comedy Central's Time Traveling Bong, and he did a damn fine job. He'd be a much better MJ than Joe Fiennes, who is white.
Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan is a great actor, and casting him as Michael Jackson wouldn't have upset a whole bunch of people, because like Michael Jackson, Michael B. Jordan is black. Also, they have all kinds of cool special effects makeup and camera effects nowadays. If the production has room in the budget for names like Brian Cox and Rupert Grint, they have room in the budget for makeup and camera effects.
A hologram of Tupac
This one is a bonus! Since it's a hologram, you can make it look paler if you want. Also, it'd be more respectful to cast a dead person as Michael Jackson than Joseph Fiennes.
The real MJ in 2001