First, the outcry over the lack of people of color in the Oscar Nominations – leading the Academy to follow the dramatic change in membership qualifications to increase diversity – and now, this. A biopic of Michael Jackson is going to be played by Joseph Fiennes. Who, as you may recall, is white.
Sure, you can say that Michael Jackson’s skin became whiter over the years, and his nose became, well, odd but thinner, too.
But, just no:
Even long after he had made his physical transformation and black people accused him of racial self-hatred, he was still a guy who spoke unabashedly about how poorly the music industry has treated black artists in comparison to white ones. And even more obviously, you don’t cast a white actor to play Michael Jackson, because you’ve learned from the years of Hollywood whitewashing leading all the way up to last year, when Emma Stone was cast as an Asian character in Aloha.
Just say no.