Michael Jackson himself probably would’ve thought it was a “Bad” idea to cast a white actor to play him.
The late King of Pop — who will be portrayed by white performer Joseph Fiennes in an upcoming TV movie — said as much in 1993 when Oprah Winfrey asked him whether it was true he wanted a white child actor to play a younger version of himself in an early ’90s Pepsi ad.
“That is so stupid,” Jackson told Winfrey in the sit-down interview. “That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard.
“It’s my face as a child in the commercial,” he continued. “Me when I was little. Why would I want a white child to play me? I’m a black American.”
People flocked to social media on Wednesday to slam the Sky Arts channel for tabbing Fiennes to play the “Thriller” singer in a bizarre British made-for-TV movie called “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon.”
Even Fiennes admitted he was “shocked” to be chosen for the part, even though he believes Jackson’s claims that his lightening skin towards the end of his life was the result of a pigmentation disorder are true.
“He was probably closer to my color than his original color (near the end),” Fiennes told Entertainment Tonight.
But Jackson, who died in 2009, likely would’ve told Sky Arts executives to “Beat It” for casting Fiennes.
Joseph Fiennes was recently cast to play Jackson in a made-for-TV movie
“I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am,” he told Oprah in the 1993 sit-down. “That’s like you wanting an oriental person to play you as a child. Does that make sense?”
The controversial new TV special, which centers on a fabled road trip by Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, also stars actress Stockard Channing and actor Brian Cox. A premiere date is yet to be announced.