"Urban Myths" episode with white Michael Jackson won't air


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/13/urban-myths-episode-with-w.html


Seems at this point you basically can’t cast anyone as a late-life Michael Jackson. White actors are too white, and black actors aren’t white enough.

Which would be fine by me. Zero Michael Jackson biopics seems a reasonable number.


“Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon?” Like the song about Abraham, Martin and John? Or
maybe just a coincidentally similar structure.


Since presumably he’s already been paid, this is probably the best result for his career.


Someone on another site had an interesting idea - cast Zoe Saldana like Cate Blanchett played Bob Dylan and Tilda Swinton played David Bowie.


Hilarious counterpoint:

Cast Rashida Jones as MJ.


The obvious answer is whiteface.


And the reason for it being disgusting is? Something something black face or what?


It’s definitely a weird situation, isn’t it? A white man playing someone visually a white man is technically black face. What a world.

Personally I’d just file it under “respecting the family’s wishes”, but that doesn’t make the dynamics any less weird.



I thought you meant

but you really meant


Personally, I would’ve cast LaToya Jackson. I doubt she’s busy.


The reason it’s gross is LOOK AT THE PICTURE.

If that’s the makeup job they thought was ok to actually film, do you imagine the script or performances will be anything but utter crap? And I don’t mean ‘offensive to MJ’s relatives’ or ‘racist’ (though I’m sure it would manage to be both). But just in terms of “did the people making this actually give a shit about it?” I think we can all see the answer is clearly 'No."


I don’t know. If I was part of that family, realism would be the last thing I’d want to insist on in an MJ byopic…



The debate also seems to touch on some of the controversy in the recent Nina Simone biopic (wherein a black actress was looked down on for not being black enough to play Nina; I know it is more complicated than that, of course, and in MJ’s case it’s even more so).


I honestly approve of Tilda Swinton playing anyone.


The family doesn’t like jokes about how he was so damaged that he lightened his skin. Although that’s probably the least of their worries about how his freakshow life might be portrayed.


Nothing about little boys and out of court settlements?


I already noted the apparent inspiration for that makeup job on the “Black Lives Matter” thread.


TV Executive A: We’re making a comedy-drama centered around the events of 9/11 but it’s still not offensive enough.

TV Executive B: I’ve got an idea…