Joseph Fiennes to Play Michael Jackson in TV Comedy

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Joseph Fiennes cast as Michael Jackson in new British TV movie

As the #OscarsSoWhite controversy continues to dominate the internet, there is one more story adding fuel to Hollywood's so-called diversity problem.

British actor Joseph Fiennes will star as Michael Jackson in a made-for-TV British comedy. Though some were enthusiastic about the news, many argued that it was outrageous that a white actor would play the King of Pop.

According to the Guardian, the script is based on a - possibly fictitious - post 9/11 road trip between the King of Pop, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando

Sky Arts, which commissioned the drama, confirmed the casting and said Wednesday that the show is in post-production and is due to air in 2016. The channel said it was "part of a series of comedies about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history."

Jackson had vitiligo, a condition that causes patchy loss of skin pigmentation, and his complexion lightened dramatically as he grew older. He died in 2009 aged 50.

The casting news comes amid a debate about lack of diversity in Hollywood, sparked by an all-white slate of Academy Awards acting nominees.

Sky said the network "puts the integrity of the creative vision at the heart of all its original commissions."

"We believe in giving producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set," Sky said in a statement released by a spokeswoman.

Fiennes' agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)

Related Topics:
entertainmentmichael jacksonmoviebuzzworthy

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