Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson isnt black or white its frightening: Menon

There are photos that seep into your subconscious and can’t be unseen.A protester bravely standing in front of tanks at Tiananmen Square. American soldiers raising a flag in Iwo Jima. Screaming children running down a road while fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam War. Joseph Fiennes dressed up as Michael Jackson in a new British comedy series.You may recall the controversy from last year when Fiennes was cast as the King of Pop. This coincided with the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. And it poured kerosene into the racial cauldron as cultural observers lamented “whitewashing” and wondered how an iconic African-American could be played by a man who, in his own words, was “a white, middle-class guy from London.”I have no interest in revisiting the racial debate, especially when the subject is Michael Jackson. No disrespect to his family or fans, but come on. As Jackson once sang, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.”Those weren’t just Pollyanna lyrics about social unity. They seemed to form the bedrock of his personal identity. A chronic skin disease, vitiligo, coupled with a blinding compulsion for cosmetic surgery — glance at photos of Jackson over the years and he looks like about eight different people — conspired to create a physical specimen immune to visual shorthand.Article Continued BelowIn other words, a black actor would require just as much makeup and cosmetic trickery to play Jackson as would a white actor. End of story. While Fiennes was blasted in some circles for telling Entertainment Tonight, “(Jackson) was probably closer to my colour than his original colour,” he was not incorrect.In the trailer for new TV series Urban Myths, Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson looks like "an amateur magician who shopped at Zara and believed he could hypnotize seatbelts with his eyeliner," Vinay Menon writes.   (YOUTUBE)  But let us move past pigment to a more pressing matter.The first trailer for the TV series, Sky Arts’ Urban Myths, arrived this week. Still images from the trailer are making the rounds and are sure to be repurposed as Halloween decorations next fall. Yes, there is a new question to be contemplated by whites, blacks and, frankly, anyone of any race or creed who objects to nightmares.

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