Joseph Fiennes is opening up about his decision to play Michael Jackson in the British television series “Urban Myths” over half a decade ago.
In an interview with The Guardian, the actor agreed that the backlash to the role was “absolutely right.”
“I think people are absolutely right to be upset,” said Fiennes. “And it was a wrong decision. Absolutely.”
The show, which had been pulled before it aired in full, also starred Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.
Fiennes also noted, “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,” added the “Shakespeare in Love” actor. “I would love them to be around the table as well to talk about it.”
“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,” admitted Fiennes.
MJ’s daughter, Paris, reacted on Twitter to the 2017 trailer of the show. “I’m so incredibly offended by it, as I’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.”
While Taj Jackson tweeted: “Unfortunately, this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
Fiennes, at the time, said he understood there might be backlash to his portrayal, telling Entertainment Tonight in 2016: “[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.”
Michael Jackson died in 2009.