We’re all still reeling from the recently released image of actor Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in the upcoming Urban Myths comedy––a sight we will never be able to un-see. Now, in a recently uncovered interview, Michael Jackson makes it quite clear that he did not want a White actor to portray him.
In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the King of Pop tackles a rumor that he’d planned to cast a White child actor as a younger version of himself in a commercial. “That is so stupid,” he remarks. “That’s the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard… Number one, it’s my face as a child in the commercial. Me when I was little. Why would I want a White child to play me? I’m a Black American. I’m a Black American. I’m proud to be a Black American. I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”
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Jackson’s family has spoken out against the Urban Myths casting choice, with the singer’s daughter, Paris, saying, “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”
In the old interview, Winfrey presses Jackson about his skin color, with the late legend visibly upset, explaining that vitiligo, a pigment-destroying skin disease, is the reason for the change. “It’s something that I cannot help, but when people make up stories that I don’t want to be who I am, it hurts me,” he said.
The discussion about MJ’s skin and decision not to have a White actor portray him begins at the 23:45 mark.