A trailer for the new TV show Urban Myths, a satirical mini-series, which tells tales of Hollywood’s biggest legends, has surfaced. And some of the casting is drawing a teensie bit of heat. Okay, a lot of heat.
The clip reveals an episode where Michael Jackson road trips with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando from New York to California after 9/11. (Despite the fear the trio probably felt on that day, we do love the idea of them booting across the country in a rental car together.)
Actor Joseph Fiennes (this is not a typo) was cast to bring a 2001 version of Michael Jackson to life on screen, and while much of the internet is up in arms about the decision, Ben Palmer, who directed four of the series’ episodes, stands by his team’s choice.
“We were casting Michael Jackson in 2001 and that obviously is a challenge in terms of the physical resemblance,” Palmer told The Guardian. “We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that. He’s given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance.”
And as much as we believe Fiennes nails the acting, many don’t feel he was the right choice. To state the obvious, he’s a white guy. A pale, pasty white guy. And you know the internet isn’t going to let that go unnoticed.
— Tammy Tam (@nubiansweet) January 11, 2017
— samuel njiяú (@SamNjiru) January 11, 2017
Michael Jackson: pic.twitter.com/DxIGqT8IQn
— General Principle👑 (@Gorgeous_Puddin) January 11, 2017
Fiennes knows his role is controversial. “One must determine if this portrayal is one that is going to be positive entertainment, and one that will not bring about division and put anyone’s noses out of joint, so I went with the mind that this was a positive light-hearted comedy,” he told Rolling Stone last year.
We’ll let you watch the trailer right here and decide for yourself: