Michael Jackson Was 'Horrified' At The Thought Of A White Actor Portraying Him On-Screen [Video]

The public outcry over Caucasian actor Joseph Fiennes playing the late Michael Jackson in an upcoming British TV production is something that might have been wholly supported, if not fully led, by the pop superstar himself. As noted by the Inquisitr on Tuesday, a teaser for Sky Arts’ Urban Myths, a visual collection of “true-ish” stories involving notables of past, present and future infamy, features a snippet of Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon; a retooled film that centers on a supposed road trip that Jackson, played by Fiennes, took with once-close friends Elizabeth Taylor (Grease star Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) following his two-date 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden on September 7, 2001. Presented without comment: Here are the first images of Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson. — E! News (@enews) January 11, 2017 Due to Jackson’s unexpected death at 50 in June of 2009, it’s nearly impossible to fathom just what the “Man In The Mirror” performer would have to say on the matter today. However, an old 1993 interview with another entertainment legend, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, does hold a bit of insight into how Michael wanted himself to be portrayed on-screen. During their conversation, Winfrey makes mention of a report where Jackson allegedly requested to have a Caucasian boy play him in a commercial for Pepsi. Even before she is able to complete her line of questioning, Michael becomes noticeably agitated. “That is so stupid,” Jackson says in a huff. “That is the most ridiculous, horrifying story I’ve ever heard. It’s crazy! Number one, it’s my face as a child. Why would I want a white child to play me? I’m a Black American and I am proud to be a Black American.” Jackson noticeable suffered from vitiligo, a rare skin condition. [Image by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images] He goes on to state, “I am proud of my race [and] I am proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride and dignity. It’s like if you wanted an Oriental woman to play you as a child. Does that make sense?” After further inquiring Michael on rumors of him bleaching his skin to appear “white” to the public, Jackson then relays that his lighter pigment was the cause of vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches and on occasion, in larger quantities. It was one of the first times that the former Jackson 5 front man admitted that he suffered from the condition publicly. “[Vitiligo] is a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin,” he expressed emotionally, “and it’s something that I cannot help. When people make up stories about how I don’t want to be who I am, it hurts me. It’s a problem for me [and] I can’t control it.” As he holds back tears, Jackson then flips the script and questions those who actually do purposely alter their skin’s appearance, if only temporarily. “Let’s reverse it,” Michael says with defiance. “What about all of the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become darker, to become other than what they are? Nobody says nothing about that.” Jackson went on to add that the malady was something that ran through former manager and father’s Joe Jackson’s bloodline, and that he first started noticing the condition on himself between the span of Off The Wall, his first album release under the guise of iconic music producer Quincy Jones in 1979, and Thriller in 1982. To cover up the skin shift as much as possible, he relied on heavy body makeup to give him one even skin tone throughout his body, hence the “bleaching” whispers. Jackson with his musical brethren in the late 1960’s. [Image by William Milsom/Stringer/Getty Images] Nonetheless, as much as the talk affected him, he couldn’t help but to find the whole nature of the topic ridiculous. “Why is that so important to people,” he questioned. “It’s not important to me.” No set air date for Urban Myths has been given at this time. Relatives of Michael Jackson, including daughter Paris and nephew T.J. of 3T (“Why?“) fame, have noted the project as being both “insulting” and “blatantly disrespectful,” as Us Weekly reports. [Featured Image by Getty Images/Stringer & Sky Arts]