From Twitter

Chill Out: The casting of a white man to play Michael Jackson is not all that surprising

From Twitter

The departed pop legend Michael Jackson is set to be portrayed in an upcoming televison movie in the United Kingdom.

“Urban Myths” will explore random narratives of the rich and famous.

Among those famous individuals, is Michael Jackson.

The episode featuring Jackson will tell the tale of a rumored cross country road trip that Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor took after 911.

Jackson will be portrayed by Joseph Fiennes, a white actor

The anouncement was made over a year ago to limited fanfare.

The reasoning for the all of the consternation is simple, Joseph Fiennes is white, and Michael Jackson was a African American.

Or at least he was in the eyes of the producers.

In a 2 year span, Michael Jackson had 10 to 12 surgeries according to a People Magazine profile.

Jackson received several nose jobs, cheek implants, the works.

From Twitter

From People Magazine

As for the specifics, says Goodstein, Jackson “had multiple nose jobs, cheek implants and he had a cleft put in his chin. He had eyelid surgery … You name it he had it.” Goodstein also opines that Jackson underwent operations that he never should have: “He had so many things that were inappropriate.”

Eventually, the surgeries took a toll on his face. “His nose became so small because he was operated on repeatedly,” says the source. “He has barely anything left for a nose.”

On top of the surgeries, Jackson also suffered from a skin disease that gradually changed his general complexion over the course of a decade or so.

From the AP

According to his family and Jackson himself, the “King of Pop” had vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of parts of the skin, which usually results in white spots on the patient’s body; these are even more noticeable if the person has a dark complexion as in Jackson’s case.

The 1 in 250 or so people who have this condition typically first start seeing signs of it beginning between 10 and 30 years old. Approximately 30% of the people who have it also have it run in their family, which is true of Jackson.

In addition to this skin disorder, Jackson also reportedly suffered from systemic lupus erythematosus, which besides potentially being a very serious condition can also cause loss of skin pigmentation.

Jackson’s physical appearance during his prime years was unique, his African American features seemed to disappear.

So a white actor being casted to play him while a bit confusing is not a total shocker, although Jackson himself made it clear in 1993 that he was not in favor of a white actor playing him.

But lets be honest.

It’s not as if Finnes is portraying Eddie Murphy, or Marion Barry.

He is playing Michael Jackson, at a point in his life in which his appearance was different then it was when he was a member of the Jackson 5.

Michael’s transformation, be it for health or asethetic reasons made this possible.

There was nothing wrong with Michael’s need to correct physical features he deemed less than savory, just as there is nothing wrong with the producers casting an actor that could represent that appearance correctly.

Jackson is loved worldwide, his memory and his legacy lives within us all, and will do so forever.

But come on people, chill out.

This is a televison comedy, not some important biographical feature film.

I doubt the producers truly wanted to disparage Jackson’s African American Heritage.

Perhaps they could have gone the extra mile, and somehow located an African American that could properly represent Michael’s features, but they didn’t.

If people are truly up in arms, don’t watch the movie.



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