Why we should be offended by the Michael Jackson parody

Tuesday 17th January 2017 | Patience

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and right before that he was and will always be a black man.

Regardless of his melanin depleting disease vitiligo and facial alterations he was a black hero to many people from different walks of life.

Not once did Jackson ever identify as a white man. So I wonder what he would think of Joseph Fiennes portrayal of him in the movie Urban Myths. Especially when Fiennes justifies his casting by saying, ‘He was closer to my colour than his original colour.’ But just because someone develops a skin condition it does not mean that they lose their ethnicity or family history.

It is no secret that Jackson struggled with the way that he looked for most of his adult life. His appearance was a sensitive topic and he spent most of his life shying away from the public eye. On top of this Jackson also experienced plenty of racial discrimination in his early career. Despite all of this he never lost sight of who he was.

 In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993 she asked at the time, if he would ever prefer a white boy to portray him in a Pepsi advert. Jackson passionately responded by saying, ‘Why would I want a white child to play me, I am a black American. I am proud to be a black American, I am proud of my race, I am proud of who I am.

By casting a white actor it not only dismisses the struggles that Jackson went through but essentially cancels them out. So in the iconic words of the King of Pop, ‘It don’t matter if you are black or white.’ But in this case it really does.

Thankfully, Sky Arts has since decided to cancel the controversial skit once Paris Jackson expressed her initial disgust of the trailer. In a tweet that has since been deleted she said, '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.'