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

Casting a white actor as a black man in a comedy about 9/11?

Pretty much everything about it is disgusting.


Shouldn’t it be a white man playing a Saudi Arab?

The creators of the show had a keen eye for clever stunt casting elsewhere – Brian Cox as Brando? The guy who played Ramsay Bolton on Game of Thrones as Hitler? That’s worth a grin anyway. But Joseph Fiennes in horrible greasepaint as Michael Jackson is something that probably shouldn’t have made it off the “we were so high when we made this casting list” whiteboard.

They should’ve gone with something completely weird but somehow appropriate, like Quincy Jones, the aforementioned Tilda Swinton, or I dunno, Bruce Campbell. Someone who wouldn’t look like they were trying to make a white guy look like a black guy who looked like a white guy.


The movie was terrible, but the Fozzie bear wig and makeup was the least of its problems.

I am so ashamed of Jack White right now


I think the badly-done greasepaint is on purpose, to show MJ’s desperation to be as white-looking as possible. Fiennes is already a very white guy, and the makeup on the other actors is more subtle.


She is my hero.


Including her playing an old Tibetan man

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[quote=“Grey_Devil, post:27, topic:92905, full:true”]
Including her playing a female Celtic mystic[/quote]
fixed that!


I believe most of that “report” was debunked shortly after it first came out. (Maybe somebody has a link?)


Maybe Peter Cushing is available.


Yeah that was completely debunked. The “porn” was a best selling book on photography.

But hey, MJ’s an easy target to slander right? I mean, look how weird he looks.

Poor guy, completely railroaded.


Out of curiosity, does anyone know if the UK has any kind of history of performers in blackface? (Not that the show would be justifiable if they didn’t, I’m just wondering how any adult human beings could have been clueless enough to greenlight this thing.)

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They were still doing that shit in 1978?? Jesus.


Shhh, don’t mention the Saudis. Make him Iraqi or something instead.


I recall watching it on Australian TV in the late 1970’s. Thought it was boring and weird, but the thought of it being offensive didn’t occur (I was 5).


British TV wasn’t especially enlightened in the 70s (or the 80s).

The comedy frequently took the form of anecdotes or jokes and often involved racist or sexist stereotypes. Like other British comedy successes of the day, notably, Love Thy Neighbour, this kind of entertainment was acceptable on British television during this period but would not be so today. Viewing the series in retrospect it stands as a major social document of the times.

OTOH, this is from the 2000s…


Maybe someday we’ll all be adult enough to not automatically think an actor of one race playing a person of another race is “racially insensitive.”

Obviously the tradition of blackface was pretty racially charged, but that’s not what this is. If you have to cut a more talented actor because their genes don’t match who they’re portraying then you’re opening a can worms that also includes gender and age biases, and heads in the direction of censoring producers and directors along the lines of the old “Hays Code” that Hollywood had to follow.

Now, if this is really just about the Jackson estate not liking it, well. . . are they going to start asking comedians to not make jokes about MJ?

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Do you suppose that perhaps a century-long tradition of entertainment based on white actors portraying racist stereotypes of black people might have something to do with why people are sensitive about that sort of thing?