Here’s How The Director Of Urban Myths Defends Casting Joseph Fiennes As Michael Jackson!

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And the Hollywood whitewashing conversation continues…

As we reported, the new Urban Myths series has been getting heat from Michael Jackson‘s family after unveiling the first look at Joseph Fiennes portraying the black music icon.

On Wednesday, MJ’s 18-year-old daughter Paris Jackson blasted the trailer as a “shameful portrayal” and slammed the creators for intentionally “insulting” her iconic father.

But it looks like the creators are telling critics to beat it — as Sky Arts defended its decision to cast Fiennes in the comedic short.

Photo: Paris Documents ‘Badass’ Mother’s Last Chemo Treatment!

The film in question tells the story of the probably-fictional road trip MJ, Elizabeth Taylor (played by Stockard Channing), and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) were said to have made from New York to Ohio after the 9/11 attacks.

According to director Ben Palmer, casting Jackson in 2001 (post-Black or White, if you catch our drift) proved to be “a challenge in terms of the physical resemblance” — but the white Fiennes brought something special.

Speaking to The Guardian, he explained:

“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├óΓé¼┬ª It’s a really lovely, sweet film. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react once they’ve actually seen it.”

So are we!

Related: Prince Jackson Credits Michael For His Charitable Spirit!

A spokesperson for Urban Myths — a sketch show complied of sort-of-true stories concerning iconic faces — echoed the director’s sentiment with a statement to Digital Spy, saying:

“Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon is part of the Sky Arts Urban Myths season, which is a series of comedies that takes a light-hearted look at unlikely stories involving a range of cultural and historical figures. Sky Arts puts the integrity of the creative vision at the heart of all of its original commissions and casting decisions are made within the overall diversity framework which we have set.”

Aside from Fiennes as the King of Pop, the show will also feature Game Of Thrones alum Iwan Rheon, AKA Ramsay Bolton, to take on another controversial casting choice — Adolf Hitler — with Harry Potter star Rupert Grint playing the tyrant’s friend.

As for Fiennes, we’ll have to see if he can really play a convincing MJ (and, more importantly, how people respond) when Urban Myths debuts January 19 on Sky Arts.

[Image via Sean Thorton/Chris Connor/WENN.]

Jan 12, 2017 12:04pm PDT

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