*Outrage over the continued “whitewashing” and lack of diversity in Hollywood followed news last year that white British actor Joseph Fiennes would be playing Michael Jackson in a fictional UK comedy series.
Today, we get a first look at his character in the series “Urban Myths.” His episode is based on a long held story that the King of Pop and his BFFs, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, took a cross country road trip in the days following 9/11 because they were afraid to fly.
Sky Arts released a first trailer for the lighthearted Ben Palmer-directed piece, which imagines the conversations between the three legends that may have taken place inside the car.
In the clip, Brando (Brian Cox) sits in the backseat looking bored as their red car is stopped by a star-struck cop. Taylor (Stockard Channing) later notes that Jackson has always had “such keen senses.”
Fiennes, who uses a soft, high-pitched voice to imitate Jackson, came under fire last year when Sky Arts announced his casting. A debate erupted as to whether or not it was appropriate for a white actor to portray a black man, even if Jackson suffered from the melanin-depleting disease vitiligo.
Fiennes brushed off the controversy by noting Jackson’s skin later became “probably closer to my color than his original color.”
“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London … I’m as shocked as you may be,” he added, addressing the unusual casting choice.
Watch the”Urban Myths” trailer below: