Joseph Fiennes was unexpectedly cast in the role as Michael Jackson for a half-hour comedy film about a week ago, sparking considerable outrage by many who believed a white actor shouldn’t be cast to play the part of a black man.
Although the American Horror Story actor has no intention of withdrawing from the project, he has been the recipient of support in recent days. One of his biggest supporters is Stacey Dash.
Writing on her Patheos blog, the actress weighed in on the casting of Joseph Fiennes in the story that is set after 9/11, in which Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor all jump into a car and drive back to the West Coast.
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 5, 2016
“I say, ‘BRAVO!'” Stacey Dash wrote. “I’m sick and tired of being told, ‘Sorry, Stacey, this is a Caucasian-only role.’ Counterintuitively, this decision by Hollywood–which looks like a diss to blacks–is actually what we’ve been saying all along: roles should NOT be based on color.”
Dash, who is no stranger to controversy, compares Joseph Fiennes’ casting as Michael Jackson to actors of color being cast in the Broadway production Hamilton, which features portrayals of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
“I don’t care about the race of the actors portraying historical figures and I can’t wait to see Joseph’s portrayal of Jackson,” she added. “It’ll be amazing as long as he plays himself truthfully and authentically.”
“Roles should not be dictated by race,” Stacey Dash continued. “There’s no reason why the lead roles in Homeland, Veep, or Penny Dreadful have to be white (my favorite shows by the way). I want to see more of this diversity and thinking outside of the box with the equality that this designation entails–this is the right track.”
— People Magazine (@people) February 4, 2016
Joseph Fiennes was as shocked as everyone else when he learned he’d been cast in the role.
“I’m a white, middle-class guy from London. I’m as shocked as you are,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “[Jackson] definitely had an issue–a pigmentation issue–and that’s something I do believe. He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”
— THR International (@THRGlobal) February 5, 2016
What’s your take on Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson? Are you surprised by the support Stacey Dash is giving him?