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Joseph Fiennes on Michael Jackson Role: 'It's No Less Offensive Than Anything on SNL'

Joseph Fiennes on Michael Jackson Role: 'It's No Less Offensive Than Anything on SNL'

Joseph Fiennes was asked about portraying the late, great Michael Jackson on Sky Arts’ Urban Myths, which caused a lot of controversy, and was eventually cancelled.

“It’s good that people stand up for [what they believe], and I’m all for that. I’m all for that discussion, and it means a lot to me and my fellow actors to talk about casting, getting it right, getting it wrong, and then if there’s a mistake, to examine that mistake and talk about it. Maybe the controversy is good if it brings about discussion. But it is satire. It’s a 20-minute sketch, and it’s lighthearted,” Joseph told Vulture.

“It’s funny, because not so long ago, there was an SNL sketch where an actress played Michael Jackson and no one batted an eyelid,” Joseph continued. “It’s no less offensive than anything on SNL. That’s the level of offense.”

“If it comes anywhere near that criminal and hateful sensibility, then I’m deeply regretful and embarrassed, but there’s a part of me that would love people to see it and get into a discussion. I’d love to sit down and examine that as a subject. But that is abhorrent, and if it treads anywhere near that, then it’s good that it’s shut down…No. In life, you can’t avoid getting into hot water. It’s all lessons and learning. As an actor, you take on roles, and nobody has seen it, so nobody can even have the full comment because they haven’t witnessed it,” Joseph continued. “But it’s all about discussion, and I’m up for having a debate, talking about it, and not shying away from it. If it brings about debate and helps change things for the good, then I’m all for it.”

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  • Zebacat

    I am an MJ fan but I would like to see it and decide for myself what I think…..not miss it because his daughter doesn’t like the idea. So now there will be a tv movie starring an impersonator who looks like he is white and that is ok? Whatever.

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