Joseph Fiennes To Play Michael Jackson In TV Drama

LONDON (AP) — Joseph Fiennes will star as Michael Jackson in a one-off TV comedy set to broadcast later this yr — a casting choice that has added gasoline to a raging debate about alternatives for non-white actors in films and TV.
The white British star of “Shakespeare in Love” performs the black King of Pop in “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon,” alongside Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.
The script is predicated on a — probably fictitious — street journey the three stars are rumored to have made in an try to go away New York after the Sept. 11 assaults.
Sky Arts, which commissioned the drama, confirmed the casting and stated Wednesday that the present is in post-production and is because of air in 2016. The channel stated it was “a part of a collection of comedies about unlikely tales from arts and cultural historical past.”
The casting information comes amid a debate about lack of variety in Hollywood, sparked by an all-white slate of Academy Awards appearing nominees.
Iranian-British comic Shappi Khorsandi tweeted: “Joseph Fiennes is enjoying Michael Jackson? Fab. Now we will all shut up about lack of variety.”
Sky stated the community “places the integrity of the artistic imaginative and prescient on the coronary heart of all its unique commissions.”
“We consider in giving producers the artistic freedom to forged roles as they want, inside the variety framework which we now have set,” Sky stated in a press release launched by a spokeswoman.
Fiennes’ agent didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
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