Joseph Fiennes Admits It Was “A Bad Mistake” To Portray

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Joseph Fiennes Responds To Michael Jackson Role Backlash

Joseph Fiennes is finally responding to all that backlash he got after his very controversial and confusing portrayal of Michael Jackson.

Back in 2016, Joseph signed on to play Michael in an episode of anthology series Urban Myths that chronicled the late pop star’s roadtrip with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando (that probably didn’t actually happen).

At the time, people were unhappy about the casting — and when the first look at Joseph in character surfaced, viewers were speechless.

I mean, this is just a lot to take in.

And while Joseph agreed that he was “shocked” he got the role, he did admit that Michael’s “pigmentation issue” probably made him “closer to my color than his original color.”

Although Joseph said he didn’t want to “negate who [Michael] was,” the show continued to face backlash — and a petition against it gathered over 20,000 supporters.

Finally, in 2017, it was decided that the episode would not be broadcast “in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family.”

Now, looking back, Joseph says the whole thing was a mistake from the very beginning.

“I think people are absolutely right to be upset. And it was a wrong decision. Absolutely,” he recently told the Guardian.

He continued, “And I’m one part of that — there are producers, broadcasters, writers, directors, all involved in these decisions. But obviously, if I’m upfront, I have become the voice for other people.”

“I would love them to be around the table as well to talk about it. But you know, it came at a time where there was a movement and a shift, and that was good, and it was, you know, a bad call. A bad mistake,” Joseph said.

Joseph also added that he was a part of the discussions surrounding the decision not to air the episode — and he fully stands behind it.

“I asked the broadcaster to pull it. And there were some pretty hefty discussions, but ultimately, people made the right choice,” he concluded.

You can read all that Joseph had to say here.

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