The TV comedy is based on Jackson's flight from NYC with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando
Chris Brown appears to have criticised the casting of Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, a forthcoming TV comedy from Sky Arts.
A number of commentators have recently questioned the decision to cast Fiennes, who is white, as the African American pop icon.
Writing on Twitter, Brown said, “Y’all know y’all dead wrong to have dude play MJ. If that’s the case LET ME BE SUPERMAN. Da fuck they do that at? Is that blackface?” He tweeted again to say, “I don’t support that corny ass shit!” See his tweets below.
Fiennes recently defended his casting as the late singer, saying, “I’m a white, middle-class guy from London. I’m as shocked as you may be… [Michael Jackson] definitely had an issue – a pigmentation issue – and that’s something I do believe. He was probably closer to my colour than his original colour.”
The one-off 30-minute comedy, Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, is based on an urban legend, documented in a 2011 Vanity Fair article, which claims Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando fled New York City together in a rental car in the wake of 9/11.
According to the legend, Jackson had invited the Hollywood icons to his concert at Madison Square Garden and after the 9/11 attacks, when all air travel was cancelled, the trio decided to take a road trip to safety in California. “They actually got as far as Ohio – all three of them, in a car they drove themselves,” a former employee of Jackson later claimed. Along the way, they apparently made pitstops at several fast food restaurants.
Alongside Fiennes as Michael Jackson, Stockard Channing has been cast as Elizabeth Taylor and veteran Scottish actor Brian Cox (Rushmore, Troy) will play Brando. Journalist/author Neil Forsyth, the creator of cult BBC Four sitcom Bob Servant Independent, has written the script.
“It’s kind of off the wall, but the writing is a delight, and the kind of interaction between the three of them is funny, and also full of pathos,” Fiennes said of the TV comedy. “It’s people who are so iconic, but also can be detached. You know, you can get detached from society. So it’s examining that kind of wonderful and mad detachment.”
Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon will premiere on Sky Arts later this year.