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WWMT (What Would Michael Think?)

MJ fans are pissed. Black folk are pissed. All because a white dude is playing Michael Jackson in a British made-for-TV movie about a road trip that he, Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando took after the 9/11 attacks. You would have thought that they were re-making, “The Jackson’s: An American Dream”! CHILLLLLL! You won’t even watch the joint, so why you mad???

The actor chosen to portray the late, great MJ is “Joseph Fiennes”, a (white) English film and stage actor. You may remember him from 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love” (maybe not…). He was William Shakespeare. You may also remember him from Season 2 of “American Horror Story”. He’s no big deal on the acting scene. He isn’t an award-winning performer. Hell, he was even shocked to know that he was chosen for the role. All I know is anyone is better than fricken FLEX Alexander! Worst. Michael. Ever.

The little screen film is being portrayed as a comedy, but I don’t think MJ would find it very funny. In fact, in a 1993 interview with Oprah, Billie Jean (referring to the idea of a white actor playing him as a child in a Pepsi commercial) called the idea ‘stupid’, ‘ridiculous’ and ‘horrifying’. He clearly took issue with a Caucasian playing an African American. Poor MJ is likely turning in his grave, but there is money to be made, so folks are going to do what they want.

This is not the first time Hollywood has toyed with the idea of having actors of different races portray roles of people of different races. I understand both sides of the argument. On one side, you think, OK, the person is ACTING, which has nothing to do with a person’s physical appearance. Acting boarders on imitation, particularly in biopics. 50% of the US population (my best guess) can imitate Bill Cosby! I can “act like” Bill Cosby. Pass me a pudding pop. If the actor is official, we’ll believe they are who they are portraying regardless. On the other side, one may say that an actor is more believable if they not only act like the person they are portraying, but also look like the person. That’s fact. Either way, somebody is going to have a problem with it.

What do you think? Do you support the idea of lifting race limitations with regard to acting roles? Would you rather have someone’s doppelganger play them in a movie who can’t act worth a damn? Do you see it as more “white-washing”, where our Caucasian friends are crossing over and taking roles that are “meant” for African Americans? Stacey Dash supports the casting of a white actor to portray MJ. WHO ASKED HER? UGH.